Traditional universities transformed online learning, but can it replace them?
- Arizona State University Professor Jeff Selingo writes in the Washington Post a brief history of the rise of online learning, which was transformed by the entry of elite colleges and universities into distance learning space in the early 2000’s with massive open online courses.
- Today, institutions like Georgia Tech are offering competitive degrees for low-costs through distance learning modules and showcasing the future of higher education, which likely will not replace the traditional campus create a new market need for a broader student population.
- A recent study reveals that 23% of all college graduates have taken at least one online course, while the number for recent graduates increases to 46%.
Because technological advancement moves so quickly, there is a sense that it will quickly consume most areas of learning and administration in higher education. While that may be the case for some areas of the industry, the truth is that there is too much land and too many people connected with institutions to simply yield all forms of teaching and administration over to robots and computers.
Colleges should consider which campus assets and programs best complement a digital strategy and how these programs could create opportunities in the campus space. Maybe online learning replaces the classroom experience, but it could yield way to more professional training modules on campus for students who can afford it, while still providing the necessary living and learning environment for undergraduate success models.