Saturday, November 12, 2016

University opens without any teachers - Matt Pickles, BBC

A university without any teachers has opened in California this month. It's called 42 - the name taken from the answer to the meaning of life, from the science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. They aim to do this by combining an extreme form of "peer-to-peer learning" with project-based learning. Both are popular methods among education researchers, but they usually involve the supervision of a teacher. Students at 42 are given a choice of projects that they might be set in a job as a software engineer - perhaps to design a website or a computer game. They complete a project using resources freely available on the internet and by seeking help from their fellow students, who work alongside them in a large open-plan room full of computers. Another student will then be randomly assigned to mark their work. Like in the computer games the students are asked to design, they go up a level by competing a project. They graduate when they reach level 21, which usually takes three to five years. And at the end there is a certificate but no formal degree.

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