Unbundling might just be the latest buzzword in the higher education world. Whereas most industries are moving towards a “bundled” landscape in order to lower prices (think travel agencies bundling together flights and accommodation), the education world is heading in the opposite direction.
Why? Because the traditional all-in-one format of education is no longer a fit with current trends and lifestyles. By breaking it up into its component parts, it is becoming more accessible to a wider variety of students.
This new unbundling system plays on the emergence of new educational technologies (like online courses) to shift learning into a system that fits modern students’ needs.
While this revolutionary idea is still in its early days, a number of colleges and universities are sitting up and taking notice, with MIT releasing a report documenting unbundling as a new model for education.
And, because the education world is rapidly changing, so too is the role of the teacher.
In traditional education structures, teachers stood and spoke to a class of thirty. It was non-revolutionary, very simple, and remained uncontested for hundreds (maybe even thousands) of years.
But with unbundled e-learning, where many modules are carried out online, a teacher might see themselves in front of thousands of students rather than just thirty.
This means they need to be able to resonate and be relevant to a range of different learners, while implementing techniques that allow them to reach a larger audience.
The very nature of unbundling means courses are broken down into component parts, each one focusing on a different topic, a different medium, or a different outcome entirely.
With traditional learning, teachers would be required to prepare new materials every week. Now, the emergence of unbundled learning means teachers have the freedom to expand their materials to include videos, written content, games, and quizzes. They can also automate content to be released to students at certain times, so they have the flexibility to promote and discuss topics when it’s convenient for them and their students.
With e-learning and online courses taking a more interactive, student-centred approach via the very materials they’re made of and the way in which they’re delivered, teachers have the ability to be more creative with the materials the offer – think quizzes, collaborative feedback, games, videos, and interviews instead of text books and lectures.
The nature of unbundling also means that teachers can dig deeper into topics via online modules and bite-sized add-ons, giving them the chance to cover more ground and cater to a wider variety of learning styles.
The ability to draw content inspiration from a variety of different sources with unbundled learning means teachers are increasingly becoming content curators.
They bring together a host of different lesson styles, media, and sources and relay it in a way that can resonate with a differing range of students from all over the world. Easy-to-use platforms allow drag and drop methods to bring material together in one place, so students have a broader overview of a topic and teachers can add relevant content as and when they come across it.
It’s not just the students who are learning in this new educational landscape. The online world is constantly evolving, so unbundled e-learning requires teachers to stay on top of the game, tapping into current trends and experimenting with new teaching methods.
But it also allows for heavy experimentation. Unbundled learning is adaptable and flexible, meaning teachers can try out different broadcasting methods to figure out which ones work best with their students.
Nothing is set in stone with online courses, and elements can be swapped in and out with a click of a button.
Perhaps the most exciting thing for teachers in the unbundled learning landscape is the endless opportunities that have come with it.
There are plenty more opportunities for teachers to take on their own courses, to write content from scratch, and to share their own personal knowledge rather than information that’s relayed through a strict syllabus.
Traditional learning methods are still important, and teachers can now enjoy the benefits of lecture-based education as well as technologically advanced ways of communicating.
For teachers and course providers, it’s an exciting time. The flexible nature of unbundled learning means teachers can find their own style of teaching and can dig deeper into the topics they love.
Unbundled learning not only provides teachers with this, but it allows them to:
To boil it down, online learning provides teachers with more freedom and the ability to dig deeper into their chosen topics, bringing together a range of materials to best suit a wide variety of student and teacher needs.
Ready to unbundle your courses? Mapout provides you with the perfect platform to do just that.