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From MOOCs to Mentorship (OpenIDEO San Diego Meetup) - added wireframe prototype Jan19

Restructure the traditional classroom model to offer a less expensive, more community-minded learning experience.

Photo of Kellie Marks
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

Primary Target(s): Universities, Corporations Secondary Target(s): Community members Our idea will help increase accessibility to students of all income levels and familial education backgrounds via restructuring the traditional classroom experience. Update January 12th: *Students: Boost awareness of existing [govt-funded] affordable higher ed options *Government: Viability, better ROI on existing (& proposed) funding *Corps: More prepared entry-level workforce

Original idea from San Diego Meetup, November 10th:

  1. Facilitate collaboration between businesses & universities  TK
  2. Restructuring the classroom experience into a more community-based, hybrid model, including:
    • online learning
    • professional mentorship
    • community participation & support
    • traditional classrooms


Update from San Diego Meetup, December 8th:


This model is set up so that tuition will cost less at the beginning, as satellite campuses are sponsored by a network of universities and organizations, reducing campus overhead, with some classes taught at MOOCs, some mixed and some in physical proximity within the satellite locations.

As the student gets closer to graduation, the tuition becomes more expensive; however, there is also more business/corporate involvement, leaving the opportunity for a corporate sponsorship to offset the cost of tuition.

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**See more in our MOOCs-to-Mentorship persona and user journey doc (attached)**


Update from San Diego Meetup, January 12th:


Our primary objective is to address the needs of low-income students. 

The MOOCs-to-Mentorship initiative addresses low-income students’ needs by subsidizing the cost of higher education through the federal government.


Value Proposition

MOOCs-to-Mentorship has a multi-pronged value proposition, targeting three (3) key players in the US higher education ecosystem: Students, Government, Corporations.

  1. Students: Making affordable education accessible through government funding.
  2. Government: Maximizing the government return on education investments
  3. Corporations: A better prepared entry-level workforce



  MOOCs-to-Mentorship is built on the following assumptions:

  • Student is qualified to enter college
  • Student wants a 4-year degree
  • Government will continue current level of funding for education
  • We will be able to find attractive community facilities
  • This model will meet accreditation requirements
  • MOOCs will continue to be viewed as a viable education model
  • The involvement of mentors will lead to more job opportunities
  • Universities will participate in a nationwide co-op
  • A significant percentage of the higher education cost is spent on facilities
  • Schools can accommodate an increase in on-campus residents in years 3 and 4

product roadmap

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Update from San Diego Meetup, January 19th:


We've developed a mockup wireframe of the MOOCs-to-Mentorship webpage ("") to be used as prototype for MOOCs-to-Mentorship affordable higher ed initiative.

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Most important questions to answer: 

  • Will students be able to comprehend the full benefit(s) of the M2M initiative based solely on this infographic?
  • Will this infographic convince students/visitors to request more information when they reach the bottom of the page?


Check out what we're working on behind the scenes at the OpenIDEO San Diego Meetup Community page on Google+.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Approach local higher education institutions to understand their willingness to participate in a program like this.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

- Guidance from teaching professionals - Guidance from learning & development professional - Corporate business relations and community outreach professionals - Legal advice on platform accountability

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An OpenIDEO meetup

Are you interested in the Path to Pitching track we've developed for this challenge?

  • Yes

Evaluation results

14 evaluations so far

1. Does this idea make college more accessible, especially for low income students in the U.S.?

Yes! - 64.3%

To a degree - 28.6%

Not that I can tell - 7.1%

2. Does this idea think beyond current cost structures of college and activate new sectors or partners?

Yes! - 78.6%

It's attempting to - 21.4%

Not that I can tell - 0%

3. How excited are you about this idea?

I'm so excited I just can't hide it! - 64.3%

I'm pretty neutral in my excitement level - 28.6%

I don't feel very excited about this idea. - 7.1%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ken Soto

Team - more info on the funding questions we've been discussing, from the corporate partner perspective: article today in the Chronicle of Higher Education reviews recent development in corporate/college partnerships to provide degrees to employees at greatly reduced rates:

"Colleges see the deals as a way to reduce their costs of providing distance education. That’s because, in theory, deals with companies can help colleges more efficiently reach and enroll bigger pools of students, which can lower the cost. But the jury’s still out on how effective the tactic is."

The article suggests the cost savings come from reduced marketing and acquisition costs, and admittedly it covers currently employed students, not high-school students, but there are lessons here worth considering. We've questioned why colleges and universities would support M2M and postulated that the overall increase in enrollment would benefit all participating institutions, and ASU, Strayer, and Southern New Hampshire programs seem to support this. 

Tori: Strayer's Degrees@Work seems like the kind of program that your dad could have used during his time at GE, and suggests a corporate/public education model:

Similar program offered at SNHU's College for America:

One of the big issues here is the maturity level of students - these programs deal with current employees who have established work habits, which many high school students have yet to develop:

"What's more, for-profit colleges have found that retention rates for employed students tend to be higher because they're often older and more mature than traditional students, which means the company won't have to spend money replacing the student the following year."

More cautionary notes in the article: none of this is proven yet, and adding financial aid management increases costs. But it does suggest that corporate interest is there and growing.

Photo of Swapna Bellare

A great update on assumptions with a very clear objective. 
Have you considered testing students on thier pre and post knowledge to see if online learning is as effective to traditional class room. I see parents hesitant to send thier kids assuming they are still new to the MOOCs system. Showing an impact will help ease thier doubts. 

Photo of Shane Zhao

Likewise, thanks for clearly laying out the big questions that need to be answered team! We know you're currently in the process of working on updates. It'd be great to give us a sense of what updates we might expect to see in the upcoming week:)

Photo of Shane Zhao

And we see that you guys have provided a mockup of the site. Can you provide a hyperlink to the site as well? Thanks!

Photo of Scott Robinson

Another great meeting on 1/19 team. Thanks again to Kellie and Tori for posting updates.

One additional comment that came up earlier was the possibility to connect or integrate the regional workforce development organizations into the model. These organizations are federally-funded, non-profits geared to creating a more-prepared workforce. Our local example is The San Diego Workforce Partnership (

Much of the funding comes from the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (, which... “provides workforce investment activities, through statewide and local workforce investment systems, that increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants, and increase occupational skill attainment by participants, and, as a result, improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the Nation.”

SDWP invests in "One Stop" Career Centers and I believe there are 4-5 around the San Diego County region. (Ex.

Partnering with regional workforce development organizations may be able to provide career mentors (for pre-internship mentorship, soft skills training, etc.), and/or be an option for one of our "satellite" locations for education.

Another option is to have the workforce development organizations provide stipends to corporates and small businesses that are providing mentorship or internships for our students. 

Additional resources:

Photo of Ken Soto

Kellie - thanks for updating this.

Team - at our 1/12 meeting we discussed the challenges anticipated with online learning for first year students, and low-income students in particular who may have family obligations and other responsibilities that affect retention. Here's a link to an article summarizing a recent study that addresses these issues and offers some suggestions that we should consider:



The study notes that many students have false notions of online learning, including the belief that online means less time required. As others have noted in comments, a feeling of belonging is essential, and support, monitoring, and intervention are critical.

Photo of Joanna Spoth

We're excited to see the latest updates in your idea, team!

Photo of OpenIDEO

We’re thrilled to have you in our Refinement phase, Kellie! Your idea is multi-faceted and ultimately incorporates many exciting elements is the role of online courses in making college more accessible to students of all income levels. We like the mixture of online, satellite, and in-person education and the tiered cost structure that results from it. It’s almost important to maintain the career and mentorship aspect of your idea. There’s so much potential in moving it forward!

In the Refinement phase, continue developing the viability, desirability and feasibility of your idea. The following are some feedback and provocations to consider. When thinking about college accessibility, it’s important to maintain the college experience for students of all income levels. While your model of online and satellite education in the first two years cuts the costs, how might students maintain a sense of community that inspires them outside the classroom and encourages them to be high achievers academically? What if your “year 1” started at the junior or senior year of high school? How might that continue to cut costs will not creating a separation of income levels?

Here are some key questions and milestones we encourage from all ideas in the Refinement: 
1. How might this idea address the unique needs of low-income families and first generation college students?
2. Clearly summarize the value proposition of your idea in 1-2 sentences
3. Identify assumptions that need to be answered in order to validate your value proposition.
4. Collect feedback from potential partners and users to answer the assumptions you’ve identified.
5. Communicate your idea in a visual way with user experience maps
Or you can use the Mural Template provided to you.

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 12/22" to your idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

We’re excited to see this idea progress in the next weeks!

Photo of Joel Gingery

Hi again, Kelly,
Just want to share an interesting and comprehensive review that may help put this IDEO contest in perspective:  "Harnessing the Power of Information Technology:  Open Business Models in Higher Education." and "The Future of the University: Speculative Design for the Future."

Photo of Joel Gingery

Hi, Kelly,
Nice!  I like where your idea is going!  Here are a couple of thoughts I'd like to share in hopes of perhaps stimulating some discussion:  Do you think there is any value in involving NGO/NPOs in the educational experience?   I suspect many of them would value students' input and service, and perhaps approaching the experience from a project or problem solving perspective would be valuable to students.  Would it make sense to organize some programs around these social problems?
The second idea is an article that describes how information technology is helping address the complexity of education:  Harnessing the complexity of Education with Information Technology, by Carlos Gershenson.  Does this article suggest alternative or additional ways to incorporate technology?  Earlier suggestions to consider working with community colleges seem to me to be a win-win.  Just some thoughts.  Hope this is helpful.

Photo of Kellie Marks

Thanks, Joel!  I completely agree.  Partnering with NGO/NPOs to offer project-based learning activities around real social problem-solving would be a win-win.

Maybe a ProjectHub + Hybrid Learning Model, where college becomes a permanent hackathon?!  There could be a GitHub-like intranet where NGOs/NPOs can post social project opportunities.  Educators and experts work together to compile a list of pre-requisite courses that students must complete in order to participate in a given challenge.  The project board could be populated with challenges that are specifically relevant to the local community.  Community members could use some sort of upvote system to indicate the most pressing challenges facing their community.  Local businesses/corporations can choose to sponsor individual challenges (providing funds, tools, mentorship, facilities, expert assistance, etc…) to support the students and, as a result, the entire community.

Students monitor the Project Board, "Wish List" projects of interest, identify courses that would qualify them for the most projects on their Wish List, then take those courses with a mission in mind
(a la Denny Wong 's Start with the end in mind contribution).  This way, there’d be no question of “how would I ever use this in the real world?”  A student can directly apply the subject-matter s/he's learning about in a pre-req class with the project s/he's planning to work on, or the larger social challenge s/he wants to solve.  Even a topic like Biology might be relevant for any sort of systemic design project (e.g. biomimicry as a core innovation concept:

These pre-reqs could be offered on-demand, in an online format — maybe a list of recommended MOOCs from a broad range of learning platforms and universities that students can choose from (as opposed to offering a limited selection of university-specific courses).   

These online courses (MOOCs) might not even need to be accredited; it could be up to the coach/project leader/school admins to determine whether or not a student is ready to participate in that challenge.  Maybe the teacher could require a reflection essay — “What will you do with what you learned?” — in which the student articulates what s/he learned from the MOOC, and how s/he'd apply it this new-found knowledge to the project challenge s/he's applying for. 

This would lead to more student-directed/student-controlled learning, and be more about earning badges to qualify for a project team than the more tedious process of box-checking core classes.  And also, kind of like Cathy Moore’s "Action Mapping Model" for Competency Based Education that Andrew Choflet referenced in Reconnecting purpose with placement .  
It’s also kind of a “design your own curriculum” model, which is cool.

There’d have to be some form of physical “Learning Center(s)” that provides broadband and computers for the students to take these courses (in case they don’t already have their own, or their home residence isn’t conducive to learning) and that are accessible 24/7 (or as close to that as possible).  And there’d need to be on-prem subject-matter experts (mentors) who could answer any questions and engage in any discussions about the MOOC course content.  Which means, as you and others have pointed out, I think Community Colleges would have to play a central role in this system.

Aaaand I’m getting completely carried away here... but I think this incorporates both of your suggestions.  Whaddya think?

Photo of Denny Wong

Hello Kellie Marks good job in carrying your idea to this stage. Thank you for mentioning me. Yes, I think your are working on an interesting track. I am in agreement with your path or comments. 

More specifically on the needs for students to be self-directed; learning applicable skills (reducing the gap between learning and doing in real-life); using technology MOOC as a support (but cannot replace human contact); complementing with in-person coaching or/and mentoring (engaged and help the student to reflect and learn from their own experience/journey); create a blended learning environment that allow students (peers) to connect, motivates and learn from each other (ie. your learning centers, not only for the Tech but also a gathering place for students); integrating SMExperts, life coach, local business communities (NGO/NPO/FP) to provide local anchorage; flexibility for students to go thru the program at their own pace (faster or slower) while being influenced (push or pull) by their peers (team dynamics); a light permanent faculty members for core subjects or activities but have access to a large pools of SMExperts, mentors and coach whom are each specialised in their own domain and ready to share their expertise with the students (ie. TEDs talk like and to lead hand-on workshop); ...

These are all good ideas - the challenge is to put them together and make it work as whole. Hence, like any good idea, it is only as good as it's execution. ;-) But, I think you are on a good track - and a tips to keep you on 'right' track is to put the interest of the students in the center. Build it for them and constantly validate your assumptions or ideas by applying the leanstartup approach.

Happy end of the year celebration. Take care and success.

Photo of Joel Gingery

Hi Kelly,
Glad to see that my questions stimulated some really great ideas that have real possibility.   I'm not sure I'm able to add much additional, but I can pass along a program I recently came across that, albeit designed for hs students, might contain some ideas for college students:    The Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) program    Good luck!

Photo of Swapna Bellare

“Hey Kelly! Congrats on making it to the Refinement phase! I recently went through the Refinement phase of the Healthy Lives Challenge, and the OpenIDEO team recommended that I reach out to you to share my experience and help guide you through the process. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions - I’m excited about your idea, and happy to share my stories, my experience with OpenIDEO and my process during the Refinement phase!

This is a great idea that blends online and offline courses to give a full rounded experience for a student. Have you proposed this idea to university staff, students, families or schools to get their perspectives? 

Photo of Rich Melcher

This article from Fast Company (link below) doesn't add a lot to our idea...though it certainly corroborates that others are thinking along the same lines as "From MOOCs to Mentorship."

One interesting takeaway was their mention of College for America (, "an online branch of Southern New Hampshire University, was the first program to receive permission from the federal government to give degrees based on "actual learning versus seat time." Students advance not by ticking off classes but by proving they’ve mastered specific skill sets, or "competencies."

"They’re not just learning math in the abstract, they’re learning how to use charts or graphs to convey information, or how to negotiate with others to resolve a conflict"... 

The FastCo article link:

Photo of Holly David

I LOVE this idea.

I can imagine the issue of students dropping out  (and the resources this can waste) is a problem in any higher education program,  especially  for a program aimed at being more accessible.

 By designing the program as a pyramid with incremental increases in contact time you will be able to give many more people the chance to excel than would otherwise be possible, so that the most motivated and hardworking will be able to progress to the more intensive stages of on-campus learning and one-on-one mentorship. This seems much more meritocratic than scholarship systems etc.

Photo of Gabriel Landowski

Hi, would love to join this team and pitch in where I can.

What I'm championing is the idea that people can get educated (i.e. hire-able) without it costing so much money. By example, I am a veteran and I work, for free, with my fellow veterans to help them transition to the civilian world and to teach them whatever skill sets I know. I then serve as a reference and do what I can to help companies see the value these folks bring to the work force.

So what I can offer to this group is that I am an uncertified teacher who imparts real world skills onto others who then can live a better life or find employment. None of that cost a nickle, and I think that it speaks volumes towards what you are trying to do.

Please let me know!

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

Hi Gabriel,

Thanks for your valuable input! We would love to have you on board the team. As each layer has it's own structure and objective, it seems your marble concept could fit into the beginning phases of satellite campuses where the students have yet to specialize.  One point that has come up in our meetings is a concern for accreditation viability.  Since the goal is to make a 4-year degree more accessible, how could this concept of picking and choosing be structured to allow for the freedom to explore, while still working toward the goal of a bachelor's degree? We'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this!

Photo of Gabriel Landowski

The hard thing is that on its premise I am challenging the idea of a 4-year degree from the start. My ideal world is one where a company is willing to look at my collection of experience and say "I'd rather hire you than this 4-year degree individual".

But as far as working toward a 4-year degree think of it in terms testing out or transferring in equivalent credit, the challenge is getting a college or university to take my word for it that I certify someone is capable and competent in a particular subject or skill set based on my experience alone.

For example, my degree was in Business Management & Administration from Ithaca College, but I started my career as an office temp, and eventually got my first real job as a Web Master based on HTML/CSS/Javascript skills I taught myself. Most of what I have done for the last 20 years is largely based on what I learn on the job or what I teach myself along the way and has absolutely nothing to do with my degrees (got my MBA in 2014 because why not?). So we all know some "educated idiot" who has the piece of paper but doesn't know the first thing about how to do the job, so how do we make our candidates "look better" for direct hire, or get them some sort of credit for time served deal to secure the degree? (And what thoughts in to the talk about advanced degrees becoming the norm?) Cheers

Photo of OpenIDEO

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Karen Sorensen

Hi San Diego Team and congrats on making it to the refinement process!
I have some observations about having the students use MOOC's or Online for the 1st year. In 2014, 77% of MOOC users had already had a Bachelor's degree or higher and the median age is 35 years or older.  Here is some interesting inforgraphics about MOOC's
In 2013, Udacity had a partnership with San Jose State to provide remedial math classes for free to students. The results were so disappointing that San Jose dropped the program, and Udacity changed there business model to target corporate customers.  Here is more about what happened at San Jose State
The problem with MOOC's and with most online education platforms is they are missing the interpersonal connections and not just with the instructor, but with the other student. MOOC's need a meetup platform, where they can meet, talk, work together, and give support. Sam, your user statistically would have a very hard time being successful in the first year.
I love the idea of the scale of your pyramid, but maybe the layers need to be changed.

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

Hi Karen, this is great information. Thank you for sharing the article. The issue of the lack of personal connection was identified in our group based on our personal experiences, and this verifies our concerns. It's something we're still working out as we continue to dig into the details. Our current solution is the satellite campus model, where students could potentially attend in-person courses as well as utilize community facilities to take their MOOCs together with other students (while still reaching a larger community of students through the use of the internet to reach multiple satellites, reducing costs). The concept is still rough and un-tested. We're looking for ways that we might prototype this idea to get feedback from real students. Suggestions are very welcome!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi San Diego MeetUp Team!  Great idea!  
I think you might find this initiative interesting.   P2PU - Peer to Peer University.  It is an initiative that brings folk together to take online courses for free in libraries.  The model facilitates learning by bringing peers together as study groups, which enhances the online experience via connecting and sharing, support, and feedback.
With your model which promotes mentorship and seeks to connect universities and corporations what if the corporations provide the space for peer group learning experiences?  Office buildings are often 24/7 - there might be conference rooms available off hours?  There might be a corporate library that can become an additional resource?  Bringing groups to the corporate campus might facilitate access to mentors?
What ideas do you have for connecting to universities?  Are you considering something like the MIT program that was posted in the research phase, where students start with online learning and transition to a campus after a period of time?

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

Hi Bettina! It's great to hear from you! The P2PU model has a lot of elements that touch our concept. Thank you for sharing that link. There is definitely something to their structure that can inform the MOOCs to Mentorship model. In our last meeting we worked on taking the idea a bit further, still tapping into this community collaboration element, while also concentrating on the goal of a 4-year degree. One idea that surfaced in the meeting is the idea of satellite campuses that could be sponsored by a network of local universities. These satellites have the potential to be set up within existing community and University spaces to share operations costs and human resources (like adjunct professors). The students could then take classes in their first and second years and apply the credits toward any local University. You make a great point that local businesses could also be a part of that campus model. We'll be adding out updates soon outlining our progress. We look forward to hearing your thoughts! 

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Tori and Team! I like the updates and diagrams!  The Angel Educators sound interesting.  Would this be project based learning?

One question I have is how does the first two years differ from a student attending a community college?  I just was researching on a CC website and it occurred to me that there were many similarities to your idea.  They are community based, and for some it is the first step to a 4 year degree where they might attend away from home.  (link below)  In addition to traditional on site classes they offer the same classes online so that students have flexibility in attendance, if needed based on other constraints.  They also offer hybrid classes.    If there is a community college nearby why would one choose your model?   (One constraint I find with the idea of options at multiple schools is the practical issue of getting back and forth to classes scheduled on the same day,  at different locations.  Also might the cost of travel back and forth be a constraint for some?)

I looked at two comm college websites in the past few days.  The one above and CUNY (city univ of NY)  These schools offer a lot to low income students to keep them on track - financial and academic resources.  (Tutoring, mentoring/advising, funds for books and transportation, no tuition, and sometimes paid internships.)     
Might be some ideas that a community program like you are proposing can build off?  Maybe this is a way that local business can become involved?  You mention using hotels or movie theaters as learning spaces.  Might these large corporations contribute to student transportation costs?  Monthly cards for public transport for example.

 What if the program brought in corporate partnerships at the start, and the program started with a job?  Or a job share?  Can establishing some level of financial security help low income students at the front end?  Can this bring value to a corporation?  
If students utilized corporate space for the MOOC sessions as well they wouldn't have to travel, saving time and money.  After two or three years, when they have the full first two years of credits might they make a move in a stronger academic and financial position, and also have work experience that can help going forward?  
(Corporations have workers at their sites at all times of the day.  A friend worked as a temp, doing word processing at an investment bank, evenings while studying for a phD.  This paid for living expenses at the time......... word processing/  back in the day!)
Just thinking of different ways to involve the community.  Looking forward to seeing this evolve.  Are you thinking about prototyping? 

Photo of Kellie Marks

Hi Bettina — Thanks for putting P2PU on our radar.  I took it for a test drive, and liked the site and concept, but couldn’t find a way to a.) filter search a list of all current and upcoming courses (with active discussion boards and scheduled Google Hangouts), or b.) find offline study groups in my city (seems they’re only happening in Chicago and Berlin so far). 

This got me thinking about how the local student community really has to dictate the list of course offerings in order for online/offline hybrid learning models to work.  A number of MOOC providers are beginning to encourage — and even facilitate — the formation of offline study groups where geographically possible.  Unfortunately, if you’re the only person from your community participating in an online class, you lose out on the opportunity for this offline peer support (and, worse, you won’t realize it until a week or two into the course).

It might make more sense to flip this — by beginning with a course catalog that can be filtered first by locale (and interest in joining an offline study group) and THEN select/sign up for courses from the localized course listing.  The course sign-up could employ more of a “group buying” model, similar to Kickstarter — or like the original Groupon system, which required a specified number of people from a city to “pledge” purchase intent in order to unlock a given daily deal — to better gauge interest in college courses at a community level.

This could fit nicely with a satellite campus program.  For example, if a community can get enough people to express interest in (and make some form of financial or other commitment to) a particular course offering, the satellite school will send instructors out to that area.  Local businesses could sign up to be notified when “a new course is coming to town,” and be given an option to sponsor that course (by either donating on-prem learning spaces and AV equipment, and/or encouraging employee involvement — to deliver guest lectures, provide free mentorship, etc.).

One potential partner for course registration is Class Central, a MOOC discovery platform.  Their site features an “Interested Students” counter on each course info page, but I don’t know how much the number of interested students influences a learning provider's decision to offer that course (if at all), plus there’s no way to sort by interested students based IN A PARTICULAR CITY.  I can reach out to see if this is something they have on their roadmap.

Potential snags in this plan:
1. The “group registration” model would pose some logistical challenges for any student requiring certain courses for a specific degree
2. It could limit the diversity of knowledge obtained in a given community, if everyone is taking the same set of courses over time


Photo of Gabriel Landowski

This really resonates with me. Plus their is also a selfish benefit that the companies get to see possible future job candidates at the same time. It would also make sure the subject matter content isn't as stale as most learning environments tend to be (6 months to 10+years out of step). In my current situation I could apply lessons learned from job today into a lesson tonight. Almost like a living case study if you will.

Photo of Gabriel Landowski

To me I think the challenge is to break away from the concepts of organizing things into some sort of tree structure. Instead I think it would be much more beneficial to simply have the various education experiences (think different colored marbles) made available, and when some one comes along with specific job hiring requirements (think a plate with places to put marbles) then we automate the matching exercise (think a robot arm automatically placing the right colored marble  on to a similarly color marked place of the plate) in order to get a successful conclusion (a plate with all of its required colored spaces having a colored marble in it, or as close as possible).

The point is to not think of people as Job Roles, but rather Skill Sets. Traditionally folks will look at my Job Role titles of years past in order to determine if I am qualified for a particular opportunity when what they should be doing is just look at my Skill Sets and see if I "have the right stuff".

Photo of Rich Melcher

Stoked to see MOOCs To Mentorship progressing!

Yesterday, KPBS aired this program segment (15 minute duration, linked below) and I think it could provide some food for thought as we more closely consider the mentorship component(s) of our concept.

It’s about strategies / methodologies that help foster higher ed success, targeted at “men of color.” Obviously, not exactly equivalent to first generation college students, but — as they mention in the story — their strategies / methodologies aren’t *only* applicable to men of color, they believe that they’re beneficial to all students.

Also, as the educators in the story are local to San Diego, perhaps they might be able to provide participation or insight in prototyping / testing we do.

Photo of OpenIDEO

Congrats on making it to the Refinement Phase Kellie! In the next few days we'll be sending you additional feedback to help you take this idea forward - so be on the lookout for that. We're looking forward to how this idea will grow!

Photo of Kellie Marks

On behalf of the entire OpenIDEO San Diego Meetup squad: Thank you!

We're excited for this next phase of the challenge, and look forward to your additional feedback.

Will you be hosting any Google Hangouts information sessions in the next month?

Thanks again,
OpenIDEO San Diego Meetup

Photo of Joanna Spoth

Hi team! Excited to hear if you've been able to make any progress on your lightweight prototype/experiment.

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

Hi Joanna, we met on Tuesday and did some work on mapping out the student experience (updates coming soon!). We ran short on time, so we decided we'll continue to discuss and develop prototyping opportunities here on the platform. Thanks for checking in! Stay tuned!

Photo of Kellie Marks

Hi Team - 

Let me know if you'd like to make any final updates to our "MOOCs to Mentorship" submission before the Ideas phase closes!

Some food for thought:
- Tailored value propositions for each of the stakeholders (students, universities, businesses)?
- What concrete end-product do we sell to the students (a university-specific degree? a portfolio of courses collected from various universities)?
- Funding (where it would come from, and how it might flow)?

We can discuss tomorrow at our monthly Meetup session as well.

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

You raise some great questions here, Kellie. In particular the the idea that a degree of this nature may not need to come from one University, but rather credits could be collected from multiple sources. It occurred to me this morning that it might be a good idea to get some SME feedback from a university administrator that understands accreditation regulations, so we can better understand the constraints of our idea. Something to think about as we begin to reach out into the academic community. Thanks for posting this! 

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

Hi team! As we approach our next Meetup, lets start to think of how we can take this idea out of our meetings and into the community. What pieces of our idea can be prototyped and who can we engage within the community to test it?

It would be great to get some of our thoughts out here in the comment section so we can continue to discuss development as we gear up for the next meeting. Remember, even if you miss a meeting you can always add to the conversation here! Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Photo of Marit

Thank you Kellie for your refining work for the team's contribution. I will gladly visualize more in the future from the group's next activities and results if needed. Thank again and hopefully see you soon!

Photo of Shane Zhao

Great to see this idea come out from the San Diego Meetup team! It'd be helpful to learn more about how this idea can be integrated into existing 4-year bachelor programs. What might be some first steps that can be taken to test out this model with local colleges?

Perhaps you might consider helping people better grasp how this idea could play out by describing some of the proposed activities you've outlined. Check out this example: where a few scenarios were created to explain the idea in a human-centered way.

Great to have you guys onboard!

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

Hi Shane! Thanks for sending the links. We'll be getting together again next week with the goal of developing some prototypes that we can test in the San Diego community. We appreciate your support!

Photo of Alexandra Alden

Hi Kellie! Alex here from Path to Pitching, good start! Glad to see you’re interesting in making your idea real and pitching it to our network of accelerators! To get your idea pitch ready you'll need to form a team, then get out in the community and talk to your users to validate your problem and customers. Once you've done that start prototyping as soon as possible. Check out our Human Centered Milestones, they are intended to help you develop your idea:
Learn more about the Path to Pitching:

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

Hi Alexandra,

Thanks for sharing the Human Centered Milestones link, it will certainly serve as an excellent reference in our next Meetup on December 8th as we expand on our idea!

Photo of Alexandra Alden

Cool! There is innovation happening at the Community College level in using unused commercial spaces as classrooms. Could you do a co-creation session with some community college staff and teachers? Check out how:

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi Kellie, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Photo of Kellie Marks

Thanks for the nudge. I'd been trying (unsuccessfully) to upload the sketch from our brainstorming session. Finally figured out that the OpenIDEO site doesn't recognize photos that have parentheses in their file names as photos. Should be up now, though. Thanks again.

Photo of Tori Adele Signorelli

Thanks for posting this, Kellie! Great job polishing the phrasing from our meeting. Let's be sure to add the "pyramid" sketch as a visual element as it shows our thinking process. Let me know if need me to resend it or if you have any questions.