Online delivery isn't enough.
While the basic principles of education have remained largely unchanged for millennia, recent cultural changes are forcing educators to rethink how learning is conducted. The information revolution is disrupting everything. Online courses seem to be a natural response, but they aren't the fundamental solution.
There are better options. Sevensided Consulting exists to help organizations build high-quality systems that utilize competency-based learning and educational crowdsourcing.
Sevensided understands competency-based education (CBE). CBE measures a learner's progress in terms of their actual proficiency, not in terms of participation or seat-hours. It identifies discrete learning units, whether knowledge or character or skill sets, and grants a student credit once he or she demonstrates a certain level of mastery. Schools using CBE love it for its clarity, speed, flexibility and portability. Students do too. Sevensided Consulting knows how to implement CBE, partially or fully, in ways that comply with and exceed accrediting standards.
More importantly, Sevensided understands educational crowdsourcing - that is, learning conducted in community. Programs can and should be intentional about using a student's whole network, not just professors and instructors, to achieve learning. Internships are a good beginning. But the successful training programs of the future will be using advisors, mentors, coaches, co-workers, managers, counselors, pastors - even friends and family - as part of the formal learning process. The organizations that figure out educational crowdsourcing will have the most to offer in the years to come.
Sevensided Consulting was started by Dr. Nathan Hitchcock after a string of successes in the contextual CBE paradigm. His most recent work, with Sioux Falls Seminary, resulted in explosive results, including 60% enrollment growth for the whole school over four years. He and his Sevensided associates work with undergraduate programs, graduate schools, parachurch organizations, churches and businesses looking to build innovative training systems.