Online Education Maxed?

Have we maxed out on online education? « Kay Steiger

A new survey from Eduventures (the terrible punny name is not my fault) comes via Inside Higher Ed and finds that though the number of adults entering into higher education as non-traditional students continues to increase, the percentage interested in taking all or most classes online has roughly stayed stagnent. The survey found 38 percent were interested in taking all or most of their classes online compared with 37 percent in 2006.

“We feel this is the watershed moment,” said Richard Garrett, vice president and principal analyst for Eduventures and the report’s author told IHE. “After years of endless growth, we’re definitely coming to more of a plateau situation.”

Have we maxed out on online education? « Kay Steiger

This is from Kay Steiger, who has a web site that deals in a thoroughly intelligent manner with education and other issues. She’s clever and often eloquent. I recommend you visit the site.

I find the findings quite interesting. You would think from reading the web and the news that online education is spreading across the nation like some Medieval plague. If the phenomenon has maxed out; if online education maxed, then we have arrived at a balance between online and in-class teaching. This is important to me, for one thing, because I teach both traditional  classes and online. But I have another issue, I love the whole idea of self improvement and higher education. I am delighted by spacious campuses, earnest undergraduates talking about major issues, people trying to think, and, above all, teaching. I like the environment and I believe for many people, it is their opportunity to think new thoughts and become different people, different than the expectation imposed on them by family and high school. Online education has many advantages but it cannot create an environment of hundreds, often thousands of fellow learners trying to understand what is important.

So it would appear from the study that physical campuses still make sense and have a future.

I am very pleased.

James Pilant

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