The Disruptive Change of StraighterLine

Jaime Dalbke

From November, 2008...

Clayton Christensen is a proponent of disruptive change. That sounds intimidating, but it really just means the process of incorporating innovation into your business that can radically alter your work procedures yet ultimately provide you with an edge over your competitors. Christensen is applying this business principle to our educational system in the belief that even though we have computers in most schools now, we otherwise have maintained the status quo in our basic approaches of instruction, and it is not producing markedly better results. In his opinion, disruptive change is positive and essential for America's students for us to be competitive in the global economy in the future.

In this recent interview ( Christensen, author of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, mentioned some new learning solutions up through the college level that reflect his beliefs and is affecting - or should we say disrupting - many venerable incumbents, including the Harvard Business School.

"Online universities are another great example that is booming," he said. "University of Phoenix is leading the way here. Finally, another product has just come out from SMARTHINKING that they call StraighterLine that could really change the labor model in education in very disruptive fashion that could allow for far more one-on-one time for students with teachers."

We at StraighterLine would love if what Christensen predicts becomes a reality. When we envisioned StraighterLine as an online tool offering introductory college courses at affordable prices, we made sure to incorporate our parent company SMARTHINKING'S tutorial assistance program as part of what we offer. Any student enrolled in a StraighterLine course can access a live tutor who will personally guide him or her through the questions they have about their course until the student arrives at the answer on his or her own.

This benefit is available 24/7, something that virtually no other college student in America can enjoy right now during their studies. It leads our students to a quicker and better way of absorbing their educational materials than they do at most colleges or even other online universities that force them to wait for the professor to respond to their query for hours or even days. That is the kind of disruptive change we need in college education to compete these days in our ever-changing world.

StraighterLine has many other "disruptive change" features that make us stand out from other educational options available to students beginning their college studies, including our subscription-style "StraighterLine for $99" method of payment where our students can pay monthly to access all our courses, with no start-up costs and no minimum or maximum time limit for course completion. For more information on how we are leading the wave of future studying, visit and discover how our innovations can lead to your college degree swiftly and affordably.

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