Class size is now unlimited. We've stopped assigning classes to spaces in buildings that necessitated wait lists, added sections and T.A.'s with unintelligible accents. There is no classroom big enough to hold everyone who is currently online in the same synchronous activity. Holding classes in physical spaces is obsolete, except for occasional activities, group hugs and contests.Textbooks no longer have page limits or covers. You can no longer afford to buy a textbook. It's too heavy to carry it to class if it were printed out like in the olden days. You can only get the portions you need online for free (or for dirt cheap). The library is closed for general use. Books that have not been digitized are stored in special collections. Books printed paper are regarded as artifacts of a bygone era, useful only for historical and anthropological research.
Digitized books are in widespread use. You can find them by searching online with your own queries. The days of being limited to author, title and shelving numbers are gone. Digital editions include your selection of annotations, cross references, supplemental materials and indicators of popularity among other readers. You are supposed to "lose your place" and "follow links" out of the book you're reading -- as if learning is a flow activity not confined to command & control structures or expert systems.Class assignments are entirely for extra credit. There are no required readings or homework. You cannot get a grade unless you give yourself one. Disruption of your self motivation, intrinsic learning and personal exploration are now prohibited. We have a zero tolerance for faculty telling you what to think, how you're to be judged or what you're supposed to be interested in. If a learning opportunity is not rewarding to you, don't do it. Old school is out!
You are expected to view some portion of all the videos, slide presentations, blogs, wiki and web sites in the world, as well as listening to countless podcasts and mp3 files. Take what you need and leave the rest. Chill out and have fun with this freedom to learn endlessly.Plagiarism is expected. You must cut and paste other people's content into your own documents in order to give yourself something more to say. Annotate these excerpts with your own experiences, realizations, open-ended questions and continuing explorations. Consider that you really learn when interacting with other viewpoints in a context where there are many right answers to be included, and final say is being postponed indefinitely. We are in open beta release until further notice.
Most of the faculty no longer have offices or committee meetings. They are expected to not show up on campus for classes, since no one else is. The faculty are available online to answer questions, guide explorations, share their own learning, and pose new questions. You may get together with one or two in those third places where they have been sighted sipping half caffe lattes.Grades, transcripts and diplomas are no longer offered. Everything you do will be given an incomplete. Imposed limitations on how much you learn or timeframes for learning went out the window with page limits and class sizes. You can give yourself a sense of accomplishment, deadlines and closure on a topic if you wish. You will get the feedback you need by interacting with other learners and content.
Come to campus if you want to. The labs are still open if you want to learn by doing hands-on experiments. You can also sign up for group projects, theatrical/musical productions and peer advising. The athletic department took over the administration and alumni relations. It has tripled the size of the sports programs and cut out the useless academics. Student affairs has beefed up their offerings to include more campus activities, concerts and parties. Counseling and student advising has gone high tech. They now offer a vast array of searchable support services to ease your transition into getting an education when "Everything is Miscellaneous".
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