Thousands of ‘graduates’ will today receive degrees without ever having opened a text book, after a new online university dispensed with traditional knowledge-based learning in favour of information found on the internet.
“In terms of significance today is on a par with when Lance Armstrong and Buzz Lightyear first landed on the moon,” explained Ian Goodall, part-time computer salesman and dean of the newly created Wikiversity.
Jointly funded by internet search giants Google, Yahoo and Bing, Wikiversity exams test what students can find out about a variety of topics, including vampires, where celebrities live and the big conspiracy theories.
“Using chat forums we spoke to graduates in traditional bricks and mortar universities and an overwhelming majority, well over 120 percent of them, said they were more interested in finding out about stuff posted by individuals on the internet than learning traditional subjects based on, like, real facts.”
Instead of coursework students are expected to keep a blog, while traditional one-to-one sessions are replaced by poking tutors on Facebook.
Goodall also hit back at critics who claimed that BSrc degrees were just another example of ‘the gradual dumbing-down of higher education’.
“I think it was the famous naval general Napoleon Dynamite who said that historical records are only one person’s perspective on the facts. So why can’t you extend this idea to other academic subjects, such as the sciences? I mean, who’s to say that the boiling point of water really is 100F? Has anyone ever checked?”
“And what about the arts? If someone says Leonardo DiCaprio painted the Mona Lisa, and millions of people re-tweet it, then that’s all the evidence I need. With the Wikiversity my students and I are - in a very real sense - rewriting history.”