Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hybrid learning models needed

Continuous education is imperative with the current rate of changing technology to allow one to fully participate in the world of today and the future. Academic models seem outdated and ill-suited to provide the relevant learning to bridge the gap to brain-loaded SkillPaks and KnowledgePaks for many reasons including that academia has not been forced to innovate and adapt, particularly to technological changes, as have other disciplines such as business, law and medicine.

There is a need for hybrid learning models which incorporate the attributes formerly possessed by academia: expertise, thought leadership and comprehensive curricula development and delivery with results and accountability, and the creativity, innovation and sense of what is important attributes of individually-directed pursuits merged with the real needs of the work and project space.

Online courses and even undergraduate universities have high percentages of student drop-outs, so the new hybrid learning models must create implicit incentives for participants to continue their learning, one way to instill accountability would be by creating small learning communities.

An increasing number of people have the time and resources to pursue areas of interest to themselves, both theoretical and applied, and there is a tremendous opportunity to develop learning mechanisms which provide a structured way to learn about a topic comprehensively and validate that knowledge. As a P.A. (Physician's Assistant) is the perfect merger between the required capabilities of a doctor and nurse, there should be some hybrid acknowledged "degree" or other validation of a significant program of study in between a Ph.D. and a continuing education course.