As the technology and platforms become more accessible for schools, especially in terms of price, the doors to educational opportunities across all age groups and subject areas will be thrown open even wider than ever before. CourseHero’s CEO Andrew Grauer spoke with GoodeReader about what to hopefully expect in the coming year.
One of the key adaptations to come up may be contractor-basis educational opportunities, whether it’s freelance digital textbook developers or actual online instruction or tutoring. This model allows people with key knowledge or know-how to have an impact on education without having to launch their own startups, making online learning outlets far more feasible.
“We’re in the supplemental space,” Grauer said of CourseHero’s model and its products. “We’re able to support students and teachers with our core products like study materials, online tutoring, and a business that does in-person tutoring.” CourseHero has about 30 million visits per year for its interactive educational features.
Another nation-wide need that will be addressed in the near future is the lack of tangible workplace skills, especially in the area of computers, coding, web design, and more, that college graduates are not learning; Grauer spoke about the difference between credentialing versus degrees, essentially allowing graduates to use online courses to enable them to enter the workforce with more computer skills than the traditional curricula require. Grauer spoke at length about the great need for online courses that are not necessary aimed at leading to a degree or considered to be part of a curriculum, but are simply intended to make the learner a much more viable job candidate.
“There’s a big skills gap is all the hard-application oriented skills. There’s so much demand for these skills but people are graduating without the skills because all they’ve done is learn how to learn. After you learn some of these skills, you can prove it to an employer without having to get a degree from a top school, you can just learn these skills and demonstrate your knowledge.”
If forced to name a single educational skill set that all learners should have as part of their coursework, Grauer feels a greater emphasis on real computer science will have the greatest impact on future learners, even going so far as to suggest that knowledge of coding should be taught in public schools, almost as a foreign language. Until that happens, companies like CourseHero can best optimize learning by helping students across the educational spectrum to supplement their learning with some of these key skills.
“The core of what we’ve always done is to be supplemental to the courses they’re already taking. We’ve moved towards badged and points to make learning more fun, but in terms of becoming an accredited institution, that’s not something we’re trying to become.”