A well-known President of a nearby university once had an idea for a marketplace where a student might convert life and learning experiences into college credit. This was over a decade ago and it was an idea before its time. We see movement in that direction by places like WGU and Southern New Hampshire, who grant a certain amount of "credit by assessment" or "credit by competency."
I had another idea for a novel this week. Not one that would probably be of interest to anyone but nerds like me, but one that could actually be a university curriculum. What if you took the detailed outcomes of a liberal arts education and allowed certain exceptional students to achieve them on their own? I hate that what came to my mind could only be achieved either by those with means or a system with massive financial underwriting.
But what if, to learn world history, you went to study with mentors in various parts of the world? There on site, you could also learn relevant discoveries in science and math, as well as the philosophies of the people there? You would be exposed to the key languages of the world and could be required to learn some basics of each.
What an amazing curriculum that would be! Certainly something I could create in a novel. But it's actually something that some entrepreneurial university could pilot as well. I know there are components of this sort of thing already being done.