Let the Experiment Be Made

Thomas H. Benton, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Jun 27, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The author of this column argues against professors resisting online learning by saying, as the title suggests, let the experiment be made. After all, he argues, "The slippery-slope scenario says less about online education than it does about the lack of trust that exists between faculty members and administrators." Fair enough. But the experiment? "That means a commitment to maintain small classes online... limits on the percentage of a student's overall education that can be completed entirely online... online courses should be taught by the regular, full-time, tenured faculty members... online education should not be used a means of unbundling the teaching functions... the content of online courses should remain under the faculty control; it should not be allowed to become a slick, corporate product." Do it like this, it seems to me, and you're just setting yourself up for failure.
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