Mastering Everything

Our friend Pippa has decamped to Berlin and is doing some very interesting things with DIY education. She's started her own "DIY Masters" programme to learn everything she wants on her own terms and give her studies the same status and support as a formal masters degree.

It's a research project at the moment and she's blogging her progress here, and we're all really keen to see how she gets on. Here's a video of Pippa talking about the DIY Masters and sharing her progress so far.

Myself, Pippa and others have been talking about this DIY Masters idea for a while now. I actually posted something similar on my scrapbook a while ago, which led to some interesting discussions there. We've started a thread on our forum for people to discuss the idea of a Masters in Everything, so please do chip in to the conversation there too.

The idea is fairly simple: to let anyone design a course themselves which meets their learning needs, buying educational services for anyone, unrestricted by institutional affiliation, and have their studies supported and recognised in the same way as an institutional masters programme. It's not about replacing or undermining existing MA Programmes; it's about creating something different, a bottom-up version, learner-driven, flexibly assessed, with massive choice of subjects and teachers, and a more efficient cost model.

Pippa's doing the action research into what it would take to create her own masters programme, but we're particularly interested in learning what tools, facilities and structures people need to organise their own "Masters in Everything". And then we want to build the tools to make it easy for people to do their own thing.

Thinking about what I'd need to run my own MA course, so far I've got:

* mentors - people to guide me in particular subjects, and in learning in general
* a tutor - someone to suggest teachers, classes and things to learn, and make it all hang together
* teachers (find my own, and also get recommendations from people I know)
* networks - subject based (interest-based/targetted) and place or tutor based (social/serendipitous)
* venues to meet in
* academic support - course materials (possibly), peer study groups, libraries, alumni contacts
* evidence afterwards that I wasn't just messing around (possibly qualifications, Linkedin-style testimonials, practical project work)

Anything else you can think of? Would you be interested in doing a Masters in Everything? Let me know, or else please tell me why this won't work!

Don't be shy, say hello. We'd love to hear from you.

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