Adult education is becoming more of an issue. Competency-based learning that ties into employment directly is necessary to mitigate the unemployment problems in America and elsewhere. WGU has an interesting model.
Sramana Mitra: Ray, let’s start by giving our audience a little bit of background about you as well as your institution.
Ray Martinez: My name is Ray Martinez. I’m the Chancellor of Western Governors University (WGU) Texas. We go by WGU Texas. I have worked primarily in higher education policy over the last seven years. I’ve worked in various aspects of public policy either at the federal or state level for most of my career over the last 25 years or so. >>>
We love student entrepreneurs who have managed to not only build successful businesses but have done so without dropping out of school. We also love entrepreneurs who have the discipline to get to a strong and sustainable monetization model early on in their evolution. Andrew Grauer scores on all fronts, and there is much to learn from this entrepreneur’s journey.
Sramana Mitra: Andrew, let’s start with your personal beginning. Tell us where you were born, raised, and in what circumstances. What’s the back story of Course Hero?
Andrew Grauer: I’m from the Bay Area of California. I grew up there my whole life. I went to college in Ithaca, New York at Cornell University. After graduating at Cornell, I came back to the Bay Area and continued working on Course Hero here.
By Ajit Narayanan, Founder and CEO, Invention Labs
I started working with children with autism way back in 2008, building technology that helps them learn language and communication. In retrospect, it was almost serendipity – what started as mainly a favour for some friends has now turned into a full-fledged start-up. And today, I’m thrilled to share that TechCrunch broke the story of our company, Avaz (www.avazapp.com), raising our first round of financing, and I wanted to spend a moment reflecting on how my advisors in general, and 1M/1M in particular, have helped me get here.
Online Education continues to be a fast-changing field, and various people are working on various aspects of the industry to make a complicated puzzle come together. This conversation explores some of those pieces.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to you as well as Academix Direct and CourseTalk.
Karen Francis: My name is Karen Francis. I’m the CEO and Executive Chairman of Academix Direct. I’ve been in my position for just over four years and I come with a strong marketing and general management background. I was fortunate enough to be on the Board of Trustees at Dartmouth College where I got my undergraduate degree. I have a Harvard MBA. That gave me a unique perspective on education and on what’s behind the curtain of putting together an academic institution. I’ve always been very >>>
Gary Matkin has been involved with open education from the beginning. Here, he discusses the current issues and predicts the demise of Moocs. Read on for a fascinating insight into the future of open education.
Sramana: Gary, let’s set some context for our readers. Could you describe your role at UC Irvine and what you are doing for online education?
Gary Matkin: UC Irvine has been providing coursework online for about 14 years. My role at UC Irvine is Dean of Continuing Education, which covers all aspects of continuing education such as distance learning and summer sessions. Those units have provided the bulk of the online and open learning opportunities at the campus.
In extension, we offer 800 online courses per year. That is half of our offering to the continuing education audience. That audience consists primarily of working adults who are coming back to us to get additional education, change careers, or update their careers. Sometimes they are also there just to have some fun learning. >>>
The Higher Education industry is going through massive adoption of online education. This conversation highlights the trends, as well as areas where Pearson is looking for partners.
Sramana Mitra: Todd, let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as to the Pearson Embanet unit so that we have some context set for the conversation.
Todd Hitchcock: Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with us today. I’m Todd Hitchcock and I currently manage our managed-program business at Pearson Embanet. I’ve been in education since 1990. I’ve been an educator myself and have run online programs. I came to Pearson just over six years ago to essentially build out our online learning strategy. Prior to managing our Pearson Embanet business, I was responsible for our US Higher Education online learning strategy and our content and courseware. >>>
Much is changing in the world of education. Universities are becoming large scale providers in online learning. Arizona State University is at the fore of this trend, running one of the largest business programs online.
Sramana Mitra: Sher, let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as to what’s happening at the Business School at Arizona State University.
Sher Downing: The W.P. Carey School of Business, which is at Arizona State University, is one of the largest business schools in the nation. This year, we have around 11,000 students in various business tracks that are both face-to-face as well as online. We also have some pure online degrees that we are doing across the globe. We focus on developing the ideal that business is personal. We want people to come out of our school with a real sense of entrepreneurship and ability to do a lot of different things in their lives. >>>
We’re seeing a wonderful trend of student entrepreneurs building substantial businesses without dropping out. Blaine Vess is yet another great role model. This story outlines Blaine’s entrepreneurial journey.
Sramana Mitra: Blaine, let’s start with introducing our audience to you. Where did you grow up? Where were you born? What kind of back story leads up to StudyMode?
Blaine Vess: I’m Blaine Vess, the CEO of StudyMode. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, which is where I co-founded StudyMode with my friend Chris Nelson. At that time, we were going to North Central College. From there, I ended up moving to Northern California and graduating from San Jose State University with a degree in Marketing. I originally focused on Computer Science and learned that I could program, but it wasn’t my specialty. So I switched over to Marketing and ended up moving to Los Angeles.