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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: online learning

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April 7, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Looking to complete that degree? UW adds another online option

Mark Weber / Op Art

Mark Weber / Op Art

The University of Washington has OK’d the second of two online bachelor’s degree completion programs — one that’s expected to appeal to a broad swath of adult students wanting to earn a diploma from the UW.

The degree, a bachelor of arts in integrated social sciences, is meant to be a flexible, low-cost option for adults who have already earned about two years of college credit or an associate degree.

The classes will be taught by UW faculty members and will include popular upper-level classes from all of the disciplines that comprise the social sciences — including anthropology, communication, economics, history and political science.

The program will cost $199 per credit for Washington residents, or about $9,000 per year for full-time study. (For a comparison, undergraduates who attend the UW full-time in person pay about $12,400 a year in tuition and fees.) Out-of-state students will pay about 10 percent more.


Comments | More in News | Topics: bachelor degree, higher ed, online learning

March 21, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Ecology? Hamlet? Who cares? Millions of kids clicking online

Screen shot of a

Screen shot of a YouTube CrashCourse on ancient Mesopotamia

When a lesson in biology or A.P. World History gets more than a million page views, it behooves anyone interested in education to find out what’s so compelling.

Such statistics are standard for CrashCourse, a YouTube channel hugely popular with high school students and, by extension, their curious parents. As of this month, CrashCourse has earned more than 1.4 million subscribers and attracted 82 million video views since it first aired on YouTube in 2011.

What makes John Green’s lessons on the agricultural revolution or ancient Mesopotamia so much more interesting than traditional history lectures? Memorable examples that convey emotion and use animation to illustrate key concepts, say students.

Put another way: CrashCourse is reminiscent of classic “Schoolhouse Rock” episodes, but for big kids. Students often use it to augment their understanding of in-school classes, which is likely why acclaimed non-profit tutoring center Khan Academy posts the Greens’ 10-minute lectures on its own site.


Comments | More in News | Topics: CrashCourse, online learning, YouTube