Motivation to learn seems to be the key to succeed online. I think MOOCs will become an effective tool for finding talented and motivated individuals, rather than educating masses around the world. Ideally, MOOCs should replace rote tests like SATs because to a prospective educator and/or employer a successfully completed online course provides a strong indicator of the student's intellectual and social skills, especially when creativity and entrepreneurship are required.
From this perspective, I find Nate Silver's chapter (The Signal and the Noise. 2013) about baseball scouting particularly insightful. Here's a list of five abilities that predict success at the major-league level:
1. Preparedness and Work Ethic. Baseball is unlike almost all other professional sports in that games are played six or seven times a week. A baseball player has to be ready to perform at a professional level every day.
2. Concentration and Focus. this category specifically concerns the manner in which a player conducts himself during the course of the game.
3. Competitiveness and Self-Confidence. “Is there a desire to succeed to the degree that there’s a failure mechanism kicking in? Is there a fear of failure? Is the desire to succeed significant enough to overcome the fear of failure?”
4. Stress Management and Humility. In baseball even the best hitters fail a majority of the time. The ability to cope with this failure requires a short memory and a certain sense of humor.
5. Adaptiveness and Learning Ability. How successfully is the player able to process new information during a game? Listen to advice from his coaches? How does he adapt when his life situation changes?
I wonder if we can create scouting reports on entrepreneurs, e.g. by using Angel List or other new social media tools. Like major league baseball, innovation and entrepreneurship is a high-stake game played every day. Creating a winning team is one of the most important tasks for a startup CEO and people who fund his/her company.
tags: innovation, education, detection, control, synthesis, system