Prior to my careers as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) and health sciences teacher, I ran my own personal training business. Essentially I was a teacher, but in a one on one format and specifically for fitness. I met my clients in the gym and created innovative workouts to help them reach their goals. One of the most effective business strategies I used was not how tough the workouts were, but the accountability. I kept in touch with my clients frequently via email, checking in to see how the rest of their week was going and sending motivational tips to stick with their wellness plan. The reward for me was developing that relationship with my client and helping them get stronger and fitter. My client retention was high and I felt the key was the fact I really cared and was passionate about their health.
I bring up this story as it relates to the articles posted on the VCC School of Instructor Education Facebook page, links found below. Basically, the new digital degree that is available from higher education centres was proposed to be the next big thing. The articles outline the numbers of students enrolled and how Mass Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are quite popular. They evidence also shows that student attrition rate is quite high, not many actually finish the courses. I feel a big component missing is the student accountability. Without a teacher knowing you by name and checking in if you are doing your homework, it would be difficult to stay motivated. As teachers we are guides to our students, helping them along the learning process. Without that personalized attention the students may lose interest and drop out. There is a human factor to learning in school, similar to reaching your fitness goals with a personal trainer!
Economist print edition (2014, June 28). The Future of Univerisities: The Digital Degree. The Economist [Web log]. Retrieved Nov 11, 2014 from: http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21605899-staid-higher-education-business-about-experience-welcome-earthquake-digital
Konnikova, M. (2014, Nov 7). Will MOOCS Be Flukes? The New Yorker [Web log]. Retrieved Nov 11, 2014 from: http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/moocs-failure-solutions?utm_source=tny&utm_campaign=generalsocial&utm_medium=facebook&mbid=social_facebook