I've got a theory for an open source software that will enable an education system to operate with far greater effectiveness, and I want to start an open source project to develop it and release it free to any government which might want to use it, but before I move forward with the project, I want ask about the fundamental principles in my theory, and learn about what problems my format might encounter.

Is this the kind of question could potentially ask here? If so, what would I have to be careful to focus on to keep it on-topic for this site?

If not, do you know of any SE site where this kind of question would be welcome?

The introduction above is probably the same one I'd put in the question. My question is, what are the fundamental strengths and weaknesses of this conceptual education format?

The software makes it possible for any government who'd like to use this, to utilize the software to establish certain educational resources. Afterwards, the student, teacher, parent, government, and potentially the employer all interact with the interface in unique ways. Their actions come together to reach what I think to be the most efficient format for education. I'll explain each interface, and it should become apparent how each aspect of the system comes together into a complete educational medium.


Source Material Submission:

Any source of wealth (government, charity) or a private sector can submit a free or premium lesson to the system's database, for any user to either purchase or use for free. Alternatively, generous teachers may submit their own material. The party must hire a teacher / professor to record a portion (or entirety) of a subject, meeting the requirements of certain curriculum. The teacher faces a camera, and explains a lesson, optionally providing resources such as images, text, and video. The system guides the teacher to divide the video and resources into a series of video segments which a student can watch in order to learn the subject matter. Rather than utilizing privately owned textbook content, the teacher must write their own chapter or sub-chapter to accompany the video lesson, replacing the textbook. The teacher is encouraged to cite peer reviewed papers and reliable sources to support information provided where necessary. Additionally, the system guides the teacher through the process of creating quizzes and tests for each subject and chapter.


A government who chooses to utilize the system will either participate in the above Content Submission process or select a set / suite of lessons (free or premium) which meet the standards of the curriculum they desire. They will give their teachers access to the system, and train them to use it.


The student is guided by the system, with assistance from the teacher, to progress through the video lessons at his/her own pace. When the student has trouble understanding anything, he/she presses a button and is put into a queue for teacher assistance. The teacher may initiate a voice-to-voice and/or instant messaging session to help the student when it's his/her turn, or physically navigate to the student to help. Students are in a school environment as usual, but no longer progress yearly, but rather at their own pace, guided by teacher and hopefully parental motivation, as the system guides them through the government's curriculum. The system may automatically pair students taking the same course for group projects when appropriate.


The teacher is able to efficiently track the progress of their assigned students. Students may change their assigned teachers dynamically as they progress into subjects which different teachers specialize in, and may walk from classroom to classroom, guided by the system in order to be under the supervision and guidance of whichever teacher is most relevant the the subject currently being learned at any given time. The teacher is able to monitor and respond to a queue of students who have requested help, see their current assignment and video segment, and remotely or physically communicate with them to help one-on-one. The system also provides similar communication in a triangle between teacher, student, and parent, but more on that next. The teacher may change a student's lesson to an alternate option approved by the school system, based on the style of learning that the student takes better to.


The parent is guided by the system to view their child's progress, review detailed analysis of their child's performance compared to other students, and at the push of a button schedule remote or physical meetings with the teacher, including face to face video calling, instant messaging, voice communication, or a physical meeting time and place, which the system allows the parent to select based on the teacher's self-defined availability. The parent is given access to the materials of the student and is able to watch the students's activities and progress in real-time.

University Integration:

The system is designed for different schools and universities to work together seamlessly, and thus universities can use this system in the very same way that elementary school systems do. Just like with the grade school utilization of the application, courses must be overseen by someone, and tests/exams, while taken through the system, must be supervised by a school system, whether it be a university or grade school. The role of professors, universities, and teachers, is to select the set of lessons they believe to be most effective, and guide the students through the courses, without actually having to do the work of teaching the subject matter themselves.


Employers world-wide are able to approve courses selected by universities for education in their pertinent fields, or they can hand pick or even submit their own set of courses to/from the global database of lessons based on exactly the quality or style of teaching that they want their future employees to have. Students can potentially look ahead at any point during their education and know exactly which courses the employer of their choice wishes them to take, take those courses through the system, and select universities based on how popular their courses are with various employers in their field.


The purpose of this system is to take away the repetitive yearly work of re-teaching a subject from the teacher, and leave it to a high quality video. This allows the teacher to spend more time one-on-one with students and focus on the big picture and also individual tutoring needs of each individual. It makes leaps and bounds toward keeping teachers, students, and parent involved together and communicating efficiently. It potentially makes progress toward world goals of a more affordable education systems at all levels, as fewer teachers will be able to handle more students, with greater effectiveness.


What fundamental flaws and oversights exist within the format described?

  • 1
    You haven't told us enough about your question to judge whether it's on topic here or not. Perhaps include a draft of the question in this meta post?
    – ff524
    May 5, 2016 at 5:36
  • @ff524 Ok, its done.
    – J.Todd
    May 5, 2016 at 6:33
  • Thanks for clarifying.
    – ff524
    May 5, 2016 at 6:34
  • @ff524 I realize its extensive, but I couldnt figure out a simpler way to accurately explain the theory.
    – J.Todd
    May 5, 2016 at 6:36
  • Although your question is off topic as a "question", you are of course still welcome to discuss it in Academia Chat :)
    – ff524
    May 5, 2016 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


The question you have described is an open-ended "what if" question that is definitely off topic on Academia.SE. I am pretty confident that it would be off topic on all sites in the SE network.

From the help center article on questions not to ask:

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …


  • you are asking an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”

Now, if there are small aspects of higher education that you are not sure about, and that you need to know more about to develop your software, you could ask about those.

For example, you could ask "How do universities handle X?" where X is something very specific, or you could ask "Why do universities do Y, when it seems like Z would be much better and easier?" - again, where Y and Z are very specific and focused.

But there is no way to ask us to critique your CMS/LMS design and have it be on topic.

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