Hard Times Require Better Planning and More Online Offerings, Speakers Tell Public-University Leaders

Paul Fain, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Nov 30, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's really easy to tout online learning as the solution to the mounting financial crisis facing the education system. I've done it; indeed, I've been singing that song since the mid-1990s. But it's a lot more difficult to describe just how that works. Simply converting to online courses won't save a whole lot of money. Converting your pedagogy to 'guide on the side' brings in a number of new expenses, such as instructional design. Meanwhile, the same labour budget educates fewer and fewer students, and the potential of the internet to support education remains unrealized inside the classroom.
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