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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The unfulfilled promise of online higher education | Education - Punch

Decades after the first stirrings of online learning were felt in higher education, the revolution its advocates had foretold has yet to occur. Yet its advent seemed to promise so much. As Richard Garrett, director of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, writes in a new report, champions of the internet thought it could “transform educational access, quality and cost”.
But then, as Garrett also notes, the crash that followed the bubble saw the initial exuberance of investors, governments, the media and colleges and universities collapse into disappointment.

Inside the faculties, academics were already worried about the effects of commercialisation in the online world, the diminution of student learning and the threat to their jobs.

Since 2000, however, online higher education has continued to grow and evolve although, as Garret says, things “have proved far more complicated than either the boosters or detractors anticipated”.

Garrett is director of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, a higher education think tank with institutional members across 30 countries.

In 2017, an observatory team undertook a year-long series of national case studies on online higher education and selected 12 countries to investigate how they were using the electronic system of instruction...

In this latest report, Garrett notes that online learning has taken off in some countries, much more than in others, while also assuming different forms.

These range from fully online degrees offered by fully online universities, notably in the United States, to single online courses, as well as blends of online and conventional delivery, together with online study materials.

Source: Punch