"How on earth did you decide to take classes at 8 different universities? Have you lost your mind?" a friend asked me. OK, I admit I'm paraphrasing the second part. It's a fair question though, so I'll explain myself.
I originally considered a one year, intensive MBA degree. I envisioned a program with courses in creativity, innovation, communication, marketing, leadership, and strategic management. I spent countless hours researching programs, but I never quite found my soulmate.
In every program, about a third of the classes seemed wildly interesting; another third, somewhat interesting; and the remaining third, revolting. I couldn't even get through the course descriptions without my mind wandering to greener pastures.
My rational, logical, left-brain told me to think inside the box; suck it up and get through the "boring" material. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? My creative, color-outside-the-lines, right-brain told me to make my own rules; to focus my energy on classes I really wanted to take.
And then the irony hit me. I wanted to learn about creative problem-solving and innovative, but I was only considering traditional education models. Wouldn't it be much more innovative to create my own degree program? The idea grew on me over a few days, until there was no going back.
I wonder what it's like to take continuing education classes at Ivy League schools like Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, and MIT? How do they compare to the top-ranked online colleges for 2012 like Penn State's World Campus (#1), the University of Florida's Distance Learning Program (#2), and the University of Massachusetts' UMASS Online (#3)?
How do the more traditional online classes compare with newer trends like Coursera's Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and MIT's Open Educational Resources? Is it easier to network and collaborate with other students by taking classes in-person from a local university or online where the audience is more dispersed?
I can't possibly be the only person with these questions... And just like that, the "Adventures in Adult Education" Blog Idea was born.