Alison

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Alison

Ireland
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Mike is creating an initiative to serve as the global source for online education at a time when community college is an underfunded and underdeveloped educational resource. His free form of online community college offers everything from computer courses to English classes, and opens up employment opportunities for users. His new approach to skills training is designed around a system of alternative certification and immediate competence testing, with programs adapted to stay within relevant copyright laws. Quality control is secured through the use of adapted curriculum, stringent peer review, and a strong international volunteer base. To add validity to his training offers and create accountability, Mike provides services to employers, who can immediately test the skill level of potential hires through “flash tests.” Begun in 2007, Mike’s program has nearly half a million registered users from around the world, and is expanding offerings to mobile platforms, secondary school curriculum and beyond.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Top quality, peer-reviewed online education and skills training can be provided for free. Mike’s ALISON program is an online offering that offers free resources for “up-skilling” workers in everything from English to IT competency. Mike’s work breaks down the barriers of expensive curriculum and limited access to educational resources, and offers verified, quality controlled tools with teacher groups, forums, and testing functions—built on a sustainable, self-funding business model. Mike’s work with ALISON focuses on competence rather than credential. It offers “generic” versions of well-known certificate programs such as the European Computer Driving License. Quality reputation is bolstered through “flash tests,” quick thirty-question overviews of course material which students, teachers, and potential employers can use to gauge current mastery and gain alternative certification—similar to the typing tests of a past era. Community college is an underfunded and underdeveloped educational resource—Mike is offering the first freely accessible, online community college rather than an online university. There are many resources that offer free trials to computer literacy and other training programs, but Mike’s alternative credential model is unique in that it offers a completely free full set of tutorials and fully-fleshed curricula created partially through open source methods, peer-reviewed to offer a markedly high level of quality.