- Mark Edmundson, an English professor at the University of Virginia, writes about student-teacher communication in light of recent events at his school and the rising popularity of online classes from sources such as Coursera and MITx.
- Edmundson argues that in-person instruction gives educators a better environment for fine-tuning their teaching styles and course material to meet students' needs.
- Ultimately, he is skeptical that online courses will be able to offer the same intellectual engagement between between lecturers and students that classroom settings make possible.
From the article:
...Online education is a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It tends to be a monologue and not a real dialogue. The Internet teacher, even one who responds to students via e-mail, can never have the immediacy of contact that the teacher on the scene can, with his sensitivity to unspoken moods and enthusiasms. This is particularly true of online courses for which the lectures are already filmed and in the can. It doesn’t matter who is sitting out there on the Internet watching; the course is what it is. ...