This Week in Online Learning: Video Tutoring, Skills Gap Debate, Freemium College and more

Online LearningLife is exciting on the edge of a bubble. EdTech, Education 2.0, and online skill learning are all moving really fast, and if you blink you might just miss some major events. From a new hat thrown into the university disruption ring to a debate about who’s responsible for the skills gap, here’s what happened this week in online learning.

The Future of Education: An Online University that Charges $199 for Unlimited Classes via FastCompany

Until now, there have been pretty traditional styles of college online, for real tuition bucks, and there have also been free lectures in the vein of edX and Khan Academy. It looks like New Charter University is exploring a subscription model instead, complete with free trial – and they’ll be awarding actual, accredited degrees to boot. They’re starting small, with just a College of Business and a College of Public Policy, but a real degree on the cheap is bound to have some serious potential for demand.

EduTech Team-Up: Course Hero Buys Cardinal Scholars In-Person Tutoring Business From InstaEDU via TechCrunch

Course Hero is now going to be offering on-demand video tutoring alongside their more self-directed learning tools, which should make for an interesting combination. Tutoring over the Internet decreases overhead significantly, making qualified instructors much more available, at all hours, than they would be in your standard tutoring-center or in-home approach.

Does a Skills Gap Contribute to Unemployment? via The New York Times

In the opinion pages of the NY Times this week, five interested parties from the worlds of public policy, education, and recruiting all show down on the pressing issue of the American skills gap. Who’s responsible for the discrepancy between wanted skills and skills Americans have? How do we solve it? Does it even exist? These folks have some fascinating perspectives on the very serious topic and its impact on the unemployment numbers.

The Role of Instant Feedback in Education via Huffington Post

In an op-ed for HuffPo, Robert Sun, the CEO of online math resource Suntex, explains the importance of testing and assessments to the process of learning. His perspective is that practice and application must go hand-in-hand with feedback that allows the student to adjust their learning style and areas of focus – and with emerging technologies, it’s easier than ever to implement this feedback loop.

The Meaning of Mastery: How to Identify and Learn a New Skill via Online Courses

The folks at Online Courses read a book called How to Master Any Skill by Greg Wingard, and were nice enough to outline the key take-away for those of us with fuller reading schedules. The process breaks down into two key areas of focus, theory and practice. If you’re trying to teach yourself a new skill, like coding or surfing, it’s a must-read.

That’s what we read this week. How about you? If we missed anything you think we should check out, leave it in the comments or tweet @Smarterer.