By Thomas K. Lindsay
If you are over 40 years of age, the internet has been for you an acquired taste, one which still feels just a bit awkward compared with the pen and paper you grew up with. Not so for those who are under 40. For them, working on the web, logging onto social media and the like feel every bit as natural as texting (something else to which we who are over 40 have had to adjust). Information technology has made the world new, and the new world has brought with it a new education-delivery system: online learning.
Online education has been and continues to be the subject of hot debate. On the one hand, the U.S. Department of Education’s analysis of 44 separate studies of online education found its learning outcomes to be as good and—in its “hybrid” form, which combines online with traditional learning—at times superior to traditional education. On the other hand, critics doubt that online learning can serve as an adequate substitute for face-to-face teacher-student interaction in a bricks-and-mortar classroom. They entertain similar doubts about online education’s capacity to replicate the “college experience.”
The responses to these doubts depend on who and what are being taught. CONTINUE READING HERE