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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Online Education - The Forgotten Frontier in Student Affairs | Student Affairs and Technology - Inside Higher Ed

Are SA pros supporting not just campus-based students, but the ever-rising tides of online learners?, writes Eric Stoller, higher education thought-leader, consultant, writer, and speaker.
Photo: Eric Stoller
"Many people in higher education still treat online education as if it's a new phenomenon, even though some colleges and universities have been doing it for decades."

When I read the first sentence in a recent Inside Higher Ed article onIncreasing Understanding of Online Learning my first thought was literally “Are we still dealing with this?”.

How, after years and years of online learning programs/degrees and millions of online learners (e.g. there are 30,000 online students just at ASU!) are we still having this conversation about online education? It's not a new phenomenon. It's not an emerging trend. It's not the future. It's just tiring how online learning continues to be framed as a fringe activity...

Maybe it's time for a Learning Reconsidered 3.0...taking the role of the student affairs professional into the digital learning sphere in an even more intentional and transformational way? (Learning Reconsidered [PDF] was a landmark document that “argues for the integration of all higher education's resources in the education and preparation of the whole student.”)

According to ACPA's website, there are more than 100 student affairs graduate programs. Do any of them have a focus on supporting the online learner that is as in depth as the plethora of material that's focused on the on-campus student? In some ways, the student affairs profession has blatantly chosen to ignore online learners. Most SAHE masters programs are nearly 100% focused on campus-based learners. From a social justice perspective, this runs completely counter to the ethos that runs throughout the fabric of such a student-focused profession.

Source: Inside Higher Ed