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It's something I came up with for this challenge. I think it would work, I know the concept is already applied to charging electric cars. If I wanted to make this happen I would need more information on the box the utility company installs that switches people's air conditioners on/off during peak times. Most of the technology is there, it just means putting the pieces together. Let me know if it's something you're interested in pursuing.

Shane,
That would be one of the potential benefits of this approach. The goal is that students could shape their courses to more of what they were interested in without paying full tuition, only the costs of the tests. They could use the courses they have passed either on their resumes or put them towards a 4-year degree if they choose to. Additionally, traditional college students could test out of courses while simultaneously enrolled in typical college courses.

An important aspect of this approach is that it doesn't involve creating online courses to go along with the tests, but rather a community (website) that aggregates online resources for people to learn about the material that they will be tested on. The hope is that independent learners can use any material that is out there to gain universal recognition of their understanding of a specific subject.