As ed tech companies and universities search for the most effective way to teach students online, some have found the term “course” no longer captures what it means to pursue an education. Enter the “learning experience” — a term being used to describe a module of higher education not anchored to a specific place or time.
The name change is more than just semantics or corporate jargon, its creators argue, but a necessary shift as colleges and universities establish what does and does not work in online education. The traditional 90-minute lecture in particular has proven to be a poor method of delivering content online, and professors have been encouraged to follow the Khan Academy model and split their material into modules often covering no more than one concept. When those modules are freed from the time constraints of a semester or quarter, the end result bears only some resemblance to a course. The term no longer fits, they say.