What Doomed Global Campus?

Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, Sept 03, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Another story of a failed online education initiative. "Stop trying to be a second rate University of Phoenix or Capella or Walden," argues George Siemens, explaining the failure. "Faculty," he writes, "were marginalized as the university sought to duplicate for-profit models." But I wonder whether it wasn't just increased cost and "increasing competition for online students, which pitted Global Campus against dozens of low-cost, Web-based operations as it sought to grow enrollment and recoup its initial investment." The traditional university model - which Siemens appears to defend - is too rich for the online world." Professor Nicholas C. Burbules, says, "I think most faculty were just not interested in giving up their course content to be 'delivered' by adjuncts with whom they might have little to no contact... You can't divorce the syllabus from the delivery." Maybe not, but i not, then you create an educational system most people can't afford.

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