Thursday, April 17, 2008

Online Learning

So I had this meeting today where we talked about teaching a class on the internet. As the conversation went on my mind wandered...

Remember the Matt Damon movie with Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting? At one point in the movie Will was in a Harvard bar and he told this grad student that he pays all this money for an education which he could have gotten for $3.95 in late fees at the public library. This got me thinking, why offer an online class?

Anything worth teaching is already online. As a matter of fact, the specific content we discussed in our meeting already exists and is probably better than what our small group could put together. So,why would I take a class from an online institution? For the accountability, the problem sets? The content is already online.

You could say that in an online course you have a professor to answer questions. But why pay all that money for an answer, its already free online?

The professor's answer will save you the time of having to sift through all the BS answers online. So what, that's what learning is about, right?

I am going to predict that the online university will go away but institutions with classroom based instruction will continue to deliver content online. Actually, it may be more accurate to ask, will an online university ever gain the same prestige of a traditional university?

As always ladies and gents, your thoughts?

Photo by: extra ketchup

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