Podcast: On Modular Education
Episode 4 of our Education Innovations podcast explores modular education with Founder Svetlana Tikhonov and Director of Education Jason Huber. Produced by Rachel Berson, current operations intern. 16:25 min.
Rachel: So today our topic is modular education. So just to start off, Svetlana, Jason, if you could tell me a little bit about what modular education is.
Svetlana: Yes, thank you Rachel. So modular education is an important way to optimize the current learning process for students. There is a major challenge in the education industry, where one hat fits no one. We're trying to solve for that by customizing the education journey for each student. What modular education allows you to do is to select content, courses and the education program that you truly need as a student, whether or not you are augmenting a current program... that specifically caters to your needs, your speed of learning and your format of learning.
Jason: Hey, how are you, thank you so much, Rachel, for having us. With the busy lives of our students and our parents, the cafeteria style- where you are able to choose what portions you want, almost- give flexibility for the learner and the parent as well. I also think that modular education offers just more choices for the students so that the school doesn't have to have everything, but it can offer more because the path that students take is wider. And they want more choices, so we can access more paths in this modular way.
Rachel: So how can modular education change the way that we, either as educators or as students, look at secondary education?
Svetlana: So in general I think the heavy, long term models- the 4-year models- in the future will not be sustainable because of the exponential change that is happening in our lifestyles and the industries. Essentially, more flexible and shorter programs will be much more consumable. So I believe this is definitely a trend, and what we will see- we've already seen this trend for adults, so a lot of adults are turning to faster and more relevant training programs rather than four year degrees, and so we will see that for teenagers as well.
Svetlana: To me, the underlying story is the mindset. Currently, schools do not see students as customers. And that is probably the biggest challenge. Students are there... you know, the mentality is take it or leave it. Here are the courses, here is the the program, sign up, register and go for it. They don't have a choice. If we see students as a customer, what is it that each student needs for their learning journey? What is it that will work for them to make them successful? And that is something schools are not asking. Once we start asking that question, the answer will be okay, well these are the courses you need, and they're very different from, perhaps, your colleague or another student in the group. So once we've changed that mindset, then you can start talking about, okay, let's tailor, let's customize the journey, let's make it modular, let's make it more flexible.