Playing with Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke

Take it a step further

I guess my last post was basically saying colleges are businesses. Some don’t want to view them this way but they are. Students pay for a service (to learn) and cynics might say they pay for grades. I’m not sure I would go that far but if we agree that they are businesses then it seems natural to think of their websites modeling the websites of successful businesses. I’m thinking Amazon here. Every product on Amazon allows users to rate it and comment on it. What would that translate into on a college’s website. Well, it might translate into ratings/reviews on courses in the catalog, on the menus in the student dining hall, on activities sponsored by student government and other organizations, on residence halls, etc. I would probably draw the line at rating individual members of the staff as that would expose the college to possible lawsuits and other unwanted issues. I’d also require people to claim their comments no anonymous bashing of courses, programs, etc. I’m sure this idea would seem scary to many if not most colleges. At the same time I can see how it might provide an opportunity for the college to see what students think is working and what isn’t. If nothing else I think it would serve to build a real sense of community.