Month: March 2010

Academic Labor vs. Educational Capital

Keith Seabourn recently articulated some profound thoughts about the transition going on in education today.

Our development partner in the academic world makes a very strong point, in a presentation of his, about a transition from academic labor to educational capital. His point is that under the older academic labor system, the cost of preparing a course was very low, but the cost of training thousands with that course was very high, based on a professor’s salary to teach students 25-50 at a time.

The newer model of educational capital reverses this. The cost of preparing a course is high, but the cost of using the course to train thousands is very low.

At a recent conference, Dr. Richard Pratt shared that Third Millennium Ministries is finding this to be true. The cost of producing their courses is expensive on a per-minute basis for final course material. That means a 30 minute module will be very expensive to produce, but it is very cheap to distribute on the Internet.

Our mLearning Project in East Africa has many parts. One addresses the question “how good is good enough” for a distance learning course. We hope to learn what level of course material quality is necessary to see lives transformed.