In a recent interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fareed Zakaria discussed his new book, In Defense of a Liberal Education. In it, he identifies online education as a game-changer for two reasons: first, it allows large numbers of people to access courses: “There’s this Yale professor who taught … his first online course. In that first year, the number of people who finished the course, completing all the requirements, was more than he had scored in his 35 years prior to that one year.” Second, the large number of people taking a course creates a large amount of data, “so even though the education is now more mass and massive, you can make it more personalized.”
From its inception, online education tools have been considered integral to carrying out the mission of Energy Exchange, a division of Pollution Probe whose mandate is to measurably improve the energy systems literacy levels of Canadians. Energy Exchange is in the process of developing an interactive energy primer based on Pollution Probe’s Primer on Energy Systems in Canada, and plans to add interactive gaming and web-based courses with self-certification to its toolkit within the next two years.