I wrote in the first posting about what I hoped No Master might be. I'd be very happy if it could, at least, be the online study group, a loose confederation of like minded architects looking to learn and grow.
But, I do think it could be much more than that, too. At its best, I like to imagine it becoming a new avenue for gaining knowledge and skills not just for one's personal fulfillment but acknowledged in the professional and academic worlds as "value." As one of the blog posters put it the "coinage" of our professional standing.
How can I justify this? I don't know that I would have tried even a year ago when I first had the idea. But now I've learned of many exciting organizations taking education to a new place based on online innovations such as MOOCs.
A MOOC is a "massive open online class" and many universities are now offering them. They are free online classes with access to the video taped lectures, the lecture notes, and course syllabus. They are massive because they get attendance in the tens of thousands even hundred thousand. Even students who actually are taking the class (in the physical meat space world) often prefer to take the class via the MOOC rather than the actual lecture since it allows them to go at their own pace and according to their own schedule.
No accreditation is given to those not attending the school, but new options are already opening up to address this.
Udacity.com is a new online organization offering free courses from many different universities. It was founded by Sebastian Thrun, a professor from Stanford, who taught some very successful MOOCs while at Stanford.
He was so excited by this new model for education that he started Udacity.com. He teaches artificial intelligence and was involved with developing a self driving car. Udacity courses are largely focused on AI and computer technology but they hope to expand. Although no accreditation is offered they have looked to place some of their successful students in Silicon Valley with tech companies open to innovation.
There's a really inspiring short video interview with Sebastian Thrun on Techcrunch. I highly recommend watching it to get an idea where this new approach is heading. (Techcrunch.com/2012/04/04/ex-Stanford-teachers-new-startup-brings-university-level-education-to-all-tctv)
Degrees.com is another new online organization not offering classes but offering s new form of academic credentialing. One that acknowledges not only your accredited degrees but also includes all your MOOCs, your university classes taken without a degree and classes from sources such as Lynda.com.
The idea is that learning is a life long activity and the current degree system doesn't reflect this reality. It doesn't give employers a real picture of an applicants true abilities and accomplishments.
Degreed.com wants to provide this service by providing a "Degreed Score that quantifies your lifelong education by both credit hours and mastery levels."
Other sites include Coursera.com offering free online courses from over 60 universities and edX.org founded by MIT and Harvard.
So this is all very exciting and a brave new world for education. The downside is I've only found M.Arch courses on the MIT Open Course (not the edX.org) - ocw.mit.edu. It may be limited but its start for us. It would be great if No Master got enough "umphh" that we could get other universities to offer their M.Arch classes as MOOCs.
My thanks to transparentuniversity.com for the cool image.
No Master is a concept for a peer driven study program aiming to capture the benefits of an accredited master’s program without the school. Aimed at working architects and design professionals who wish to develop their professional growth. No Master - play on words: 1 Architects (master builders) without a master’s degree. 2 No school or teachers but but a peer review process, no masters just students 3 Ronin - masterless samurai, term for a secondary school graduate not admitted to university.