Role of Online Education and the Recession

Ok. This is getting weird. This is a post on a blog to a post on a blog (and that blog actually has people who leave comments). In any case, I came across an interesting post today that wonders: Can Online Education Save Higher Ed From the Recession?

I think it’s interesting. I also thought it was timely, especially in light of what Henry Reiff and Steve Kerby presented at the faculty meeting two weeks ago.

Has anyone thought about this? For your own classes?

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6 Responses to Role of Online Education and the Recession

  1. Pam Regis says:

    Yes.

    For a course on the Courtship Novel (i.e., the popular romance novel and its precursors). A number of people, none of them McDaniel students, have asked me if I offer such a course.

    That’s as far as I’ve gotten.

  2. gretchenmckay says:

    To what audience would such a class be focused? Do you see yourself actually doing something like this?

    I’m contemplating investigating so called “blended” classes. I love the face to face time and would hate to lose that completely, but I am curious about trying a course that is primarily lecture in an online environment.

    Other thoughts?

  3. Bob Trader says:

    Distance education best serves non-traditional students who have time constraints (work, family…) that traditional college age students usually do not have.

    I think we need to consider what McDaniel does best. To me, this campus rocks because it is mainly a living/learning environment. I think even if the rest of the world jumps on the digital bandwagon, McDaniel College will provide that face-to-face interaction that is also very special.

    On the other hand, we are definitely under utilizing the technology that is available. There are multiple ways that technology can bring people here or take us there that are not being widely adopted in our courses. Instead of having students read, for example, why not have them watch a Google video or a video from the Research Channel or email/Skype people who are directly involved in a situation such as the recent disaster in Haiti?

  4. gretchenmckay says:

    I am thinking about “blended” approach for classes that are heavily dependent on lecture. I’m not sure I know what that means, but I know I want to find out. Because I know that I want my face-to-face classroom to be something they simply can’t get anywhere else. For instance, a hypothetical podcast on Middle Byzantine architecture from THE SCHOLAR in Byzantine architecture would be better than what I could ever do. I mean, I do a fine job; I lecture well. But the issue is, if information is everywhere, and they can get information from excellent sources — the very people *I* turn to when creating material for a lecture — could perhaps my face to face classroom do something else to have them learn the same content? Something that simply can’t be done with technology? I think yes. I would put in a plug for “Reacting to the Past” here or for some of other learning and problem based activities I’ve been using in class. In any case, I’m interested in pursuing this at some point and to find out how a “blended” class could do more with technology but also highlight why a living/learning environment works, why it’s beneficial, and worth the extra cost.

  5. Bob Trader says:

    Hey Gretchen. I completely agree with everything you’ve said! I’d also add that an undergraduate education is not just about what goes on in a classroom. There are opportunities in a living/learning environment that simply aren’t available in the same way online just as there are opportunities available online that are not so easily available face-to-face. Basically, I’d also argue for an integrated model. The key question is really then what is best done digitally, and what is best done face-to-face. That I think would be a very worthwhile discussion. 🙂

  6. gretchenmckay says:

    The key question is really then what is best done digitally, and what is best done face-to-face.

    How would you answer that? How do you decide? Should I make a new post on this? Could we get Steve Kerby to make a post?

    I am eager to see what the APC suggests for the future of online and McDaniel.

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