The frontier is open in education – recorded lectures

There are rapid changes in the format of delivery of education. I’ve not had anywhere near enough time to comment on them in this blog.

One area I have pondered is taking a recorded lecture and turning it into a course. A while back I finished listening to The American Civil War, by Prof. Gary Gallagher from Great Courses. Had a lot of fun listening to the CDs. Learned a lot.

I commented on this idea here.

As I finished this series, I thought again how this and similar courses would be a great way to create a college-level course. The material is definitely collegiate level and would be a superb introduction to the Civil War. It could be a general course for anyone majoring in history or an intro followed by courses with more depth on either military history or the Civil War.

Take a moment to look at the time for this course. It was 48 lectures at 30 min. apiece. That is 24 hours which would be equal to 29 lectures at 50 minutes.

A typical three credit class would be 15 weeks at three lectures a week (at least that’s my recollection). Back out one lecture for intro, one lecture for final exam, and two half lectures for quizzes and you would have 42 lectures.

The Civil War course would be 69% of a three-hour class, or two hours.

Adding an overview book (perhaps Battle Cry of Freedom), some quizzes, and a final exam to the course would give you a two credit class. In fact the technology for quizzes and final exams are already available in the continuing education world. I see that used regularly for the accounting profession.

The doors are open to radical changes in education. Like I’ve been saying, the frontier is open.

Update – I realize my thoughts above are about, oh, 3 or 4 years behind the cutting edge. Still I think it is worthwhile to leave the post here so it can help others process through the radical changes already in process. Sort of makes me feel like someone who just understood the technology that would allow manned travel to the moon. The breakthrough isn’t understanding that 40-year-old technology exists. The astounding development is having a personal comprehension of the techniques, navigation, power needs, food usage, and all the other details that would make such a trip possible.

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