Uber for Learning

What if higher education was not a pre-set 4 year experience, but rather an On-Demand - Access Economy style lifetime of learning?

Photo of Chris Good
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What can Uber, Airbnb, Zipcar, Netflix, and the flood of start-ups springing out of the  "Access-Economy" teach us about higher education?

Maybe the lesson is that when MORE people have EASIER access to the SPECIFIC things they need to grow, advance, and succeed - they are more likely to achieve those things.

No formal admissions process
No 4 year college plan
No student debt
No required courses

Not unlike the bookmobile: you don't come to the learning, the learning comes to you!


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jessica Lura

It feels like with the access to so much online information that how higher education is accessed by most students needs to change. I wonder what the statistics are for students who solely do online higher education to other brick and mortar institutions?

I love the idea of a higher education book mobile :)

Photo of Chris Good

Interesting question Jessica Lura . I wonder though if "Online" learning is the answer. It can be great in some instances, but not as great in others. What if we used Uber, Netflix, Airbnb, etc.. as models for how the campus, faculty, or school calendar could be used differently?

Uber is successful because there are thousands of drivers readily available and right around the corner from you.

What if colleges and universities had a network of faculty ready to teach a topic at a moments notice - physically on site, or remotely online?   (Just like Uber)

Netflix is successful because the user has on demand access to content which they can consume at any pace they like. Binge watching or spaced out over weeks at a time.

What if a class did not last an entire semester or quarter. What if the length of the class were variable to meet the need of the student? Perhaps called up and fast tracked in one week, or spread out over a year  - giving the student the control to start, stop speed ahead and rewind as they see fit. (Like Netflix)

ZipCar saves people the expense of owning a vehicle by sharing that resource.
What if students pooled together to share the cost of a class. Really popular ones shared across more students might cost less?  (ZipCar)

The model for how a university teaches, may have to adapt to the way the future student (who is no longer just an 18yr old kid fresh out of high school, looking to spend 4 years of their life living on a college campus) needs to learn.

It may have to find a delivery method that gives the student more access , easier access, and less confined access to learning

Photo of Jessica Lura

Oh, I agree that online is not necessarily the answer. I know that many people who do MOOCs and online courses who never finished (or even start) and they are people who actually do attend in-person classes. 

It's definitely interesting and about time to think about how education is accessed. I liked zipcar and netflix ideas...