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With Students Flocking Online, Will Faculty Follow?

It really doesn’t have to be said, but I’ll do it anyway: we are in a climate of uncertainty. Awareness of economic issues (cost-cutting, layoffs) is high. Online learning has the potential to play a significant role in this climate. Trends indicate a growing move to online teaching and learning. This article asks: With Students Flocking Online, Will Faculty Follow?: “As online courses’ popularity continues to rise, many administrators are struggling with a steep learning curve, one whose ultimate end point is far from being determined. Questions such as how such courses should be taught (by adjuncts or full-time faculty?) often depend on institutions’ missions (expand access or generate extra revenue?) and can lead to clashes and tensions between proponents of online learning and those who remain wedded to the traditional classroom.”

My question is directed at institutions: Are our institutions (and systems) of education ready to embrace online learning strategically and more than an add-on?

2 Comments

  1. Wepps wrote:

    My instinct is to answer ‘no’ to this question because post-secondary schools are large slow moving machines that do not adapt quickly. As the Inside Higher Ed article highlights, the current educational system for developed over centuries which means its had lots of time to become entrenched.

    In my role in student affairs I’m becoming increasingly interested in how non-traditional educators (like those staff that work in student affairs) can use technology to their advantage. One easily understood example is in service delivery and a rapidly emerging area of understanding is social networking. Since I believe that learners will benefit from having the in-class and out-of-class learning experiences coordinated, my interested is peaked when I start considering ways that technology can assist with this integration.

    Friday, November 21, 2008 at 5:24 am | Permalink
  2. Carmen Tschofen wrote:

    And what will happen in a climate where mandates/initiatives for increased online education such as these in Minnesota are created? “Governor Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees Chair David Olson today announced a goal to have 25 percent of all MnSCU credits earned through online courses by 2015.”
    http://www.governor.state.mn.us/mediacenter/pressreleases/PROD009202.html

    Friday, November 21, 2008 at 9:50 am | Permalink