Imagine building a village. At first, everyone begins to pitch in. They don't have much money but they volunteer their time and efforts into the design and begin to create a tangible vision. The smaller houses go up first, next comes the Town hall. Now, we need to live together, so we each take the skills that we are good at and buy, sell, or trade to whomever is interested.This collaborative solution works well for any concept. In particular, it will provide the optimal cost-quality solution for the achievement of higher education.
In the research phase, the notion of Freemium education and an open community platform for educational achievement were introduced. Combining the free entry to a collegiate degree with the availability of open sources of knowledge and volunteering, higher education doesn't seem as costly as it used to look. Collaboration between the two ideas, and between the educational population and institution, could lead to an optimal, cost-effective degree that everyone would be able to benefit from.
Let's start with the Freemium portion. How could an educational institution provide quality education at no cost? In short, they won't. However, this is not the purpose of the Freemium model. The free aspect is there to draw in, or market, your service or product. It provides a greater understanding of the quality services of a business and will get users to partake in them. After a while, users will want to increase their bandwidth, or availability of this product; this is where the premium aspect comes in to play. Sure, you could satisfy fundamental needs with the free business model, however as the user diversifies and develops more complex needs, the premium model is the only way to be assess the problem.
That being said, lets translate this into a university model. At first, an educational institution will grant incoming students a free education for the first two years of school. This is where the concept of open source ties into the equation. A university could incorporate its well vested sources of knowledge and networking capabilities. They can ask business corporations to donate their time and expertise for speakers to bring a concept, theory, or fundamental education to students. This will add great PR to the business for delivering pro bono education and consultations to the developing student body. This will decrease educational costs for the university since their won't be the need to have someone on the payroll to deliver and grade the course concepts. Also, this will eliminate the purchase of a class that is "basic" for all students allowing them to conserve money for future courses.
Furthermore, universities will create simplistic software applications that will incorporate an open source community to discuss the current lecture, conduct surveys and quizzes, as well as gather live data in order to tailor, or steer, the education provided to better meet a students needs. This is Freemium at its best. Students will now have real-world knowledge on course topics and have a much better understanding of how it has been utilized in the industry or their field of study. This could continue on for all basic courses required in educational institutions. Ultimately, collaboration between students via an open source community (such as Piazza, or Canvas group postings) could drive deeper thoughts for both students and educators - utilizing and advanced degree feel to the basic education experience. Students are now hooked on the institution and will spend to finish their degree at their current university.
Primarily, retired professionals would be the targets to delivery such insightful lectures since they might have the most time to attend multiple lectures, but currently employed professionals would be benefiting from this as well. Many corporations have days (paid time off) set aside for their employees to attend a volunteering event of their choice, thus some would elect to use this time to share some knowledge they wish they had during school. Now that students have been hooked on the quality of this free education, they will be willing to pay for advanced courses. Hearing the fundamental applications from direct sources will also allow students to better understand what major of study they would like to employ. This will decrease costs since such insight into the professional application of subjects could deter students from investing time - and financial resources - towards a degree that they will most likely opt out of. Universities would then make money by charging a premium for advanced course, much more specialized to fit appropriate degree paths. Furthermore, student often find the better educators through online platforms. This data could come from the open source community application previously mentioned. Institutions can now up charge the higher demanded professors or educators - driven by your basic supply and demand economics.
Now let's go just a bit further. Students are now fully invested in a university and have paid for the education they would like to pursue. This education could be priced by individual courses that a student has elected to take. In order to generate higher revenue for the universities, the institution could grant certifications and higher educational courses throughout the baccalaureate tenure. Here students will get even higher educational status and advancement if they choose to pay for it. These courses will allow students to better procure education by eliminating unwanted expenditures for basic curriculum and pay for a better quality education for the optimal price point.
Students could now attain higher education faster, cheaper, and with a better understanding of what they would like to spend their money on to build their professional development.