Do we really need more online education?
Online education is winning. At 12.9%, its growth rate overshadows traditional on-campus student expansion significantly. More than 25 percent of all students nationwide took at least one online class last year, according to an article in today's Chronicle of Higher Education.
What does this mean for you or your college age children? One prominent educator has made a strong case for why we need more online educators and courses. A. Frank Mayadas, considered by many to be the Father of Online Learning, suggests the government should step in with $500-million to support traditional online courses and educators in this digital age.
The recession has created a strong need to re-educate workers who have lost their jobs. Community colleges are fast becoming ground zero for this retraining and they are a huge source of online growth. The government is proposing it spend $500-million to make “open” or free courses available online. Shouldn’t it also invest in traditional online education?
“Online education is a winner but it is not nearly as available as it could be… It needs a national push. Community colleges, four-year universities, major colleges – all need assistance to cross the threshold to big-time online availability,” according to Mayadas.
As a non-traditional grad student, exactly one of my classes was offered online. I snapped it up as my first class. It was the perfect way (for me) to make this “leap” back into higher education. What about you? If more classes were offered online, would you consider taking one?