Link to New York Times March 3 Room for Debate: "College Degrees Without Going to Class".
Excerpt: Online courses have been around for nearly two decades, but enrollment has soared in recent years as more universities increase their offerings. More than 4.6 million college students (about one in four) were taking at least one online course in 2008, a 17 percent increase over 2007.
Institutions like Rutgers University and the University of California system are looking at expanding online courses as a way to keep down tuition costs or increase revenues. Recently, Rutgers said it would triple online revenues from $20.5 million to $60 million in five years.
Who benefits most from online courses — students or colleges? Are online classes as educationally effective as in-classroom instruction? Should more post-secondary education take place online?
Retiring Guy has, as they say in the vernacular, been there done that. When it comes to distance education..... If both teachers and students are prepared, responsive, and engaged, things run remarkably well.
Folks who say distance education is inferior to classroom instruction are walking through life with their eyes closed. It's not a one-size-fits-all world.
Todd Gilman on Teaching Online Courses. (2/23/2010)