For-Profit Fiasco: California Public Colleges Turn to Web Courses | The Nation

For-Profit Fiasco: California Public Colleges Turn to Web Courses | The Nation.

 

Like anyone who has actually taught a college course, I’ve been skeptical of the rush to online coursework. But I also recognize, and have repeatedly lectured on, the need for ICT solutions to the unprecedented need for instructors worldwide to teach not just advanced material but even the most basic. Online education can do that.

But if done badly, it can also wreck not just the particular course experience but far more. This is obvious. What do I envision as a system that is done right? One that does not imagine the student isolated in his or her room with the computer, doing drudgework to recorded videos.

Rather, I’d insist that the necessary element is community, and emphasize the importance of in-person community, where students can be led through courses by mentors, who can also conduct discussion sessions.