Online Learning…here to stay?

Small, private colleges fret over online classes By Denise-Marie Ordway, Orlando Sentinel

Small, private, liberal arts colleges are slow to jump on the bandwagon of online education.  The official line is often that what they do can’t be replicated in an online environment.  While there is some truth to this, it is also true that more can be done to simulate the student interaction that promotes critical thinking, at a distance.  It does require some vision, creativity and administrative courage, however.   Standing still may lead to declining enrollments as students have come to expect more convenience in the educational marketplace.  As educational consultant, Robert Lytle puts it, “…online education is here to stay … to pretend that it is a fad is to imperil an institution.”  I expect we’ll see more of the types of baby-steps described in Ordway’s article – that is, the move towards blended learning.  Colleges moving in such a direction may even end up being closer to what the future of higher education will look like than they know.