Conflicted: Faculty and Online Education - June 2012




The study was based on a pair of related surveys about online education, co-designed by Inside Higher Ed and administered and analyzed by the Babson Survey Research Group, which has studied online education for more than a decade. The surveys garnered responses from representative samples of 4,564 faculty members (of about 60,000 who were sent invitations to participate) and 591 academic technology administrators, from all types of institution. The surveys asked a wide range of questions of both groups about their perceptions of online quality, institutional support and training in instructional technology, and compensation, among other things. The response rates for both surveys were below 10 percent.

A PDF copy of the study report can be downloaded here. To read the text of the report, click here.

From DSC:
I urge faculty members to give online learning a try — not only for your students’ sakes, but for your own career’s sake:
  • Take a course from an organization that has a good reputation for their online courses
  • Take a course re: instructional design for teaching online
  • Try your hand at teaching your own course online.
I don’t mention this piece of advice as a threat or to come across as a scaremonger.  Online learning has been — and continues to be — reality.  In Christensen’s terms, face-to-face classrooms practice sustaining innnovations but online learning is a disruptive technology that keeps gaining ground.   [When either mode are done well] it’s now not only at least as good as face-to-face learning, but the powerful tools that keep being added to online learning will take it far beyond what we are able to currently offer in a face-to-face classroom.
One comment at the end of the article stood out for me as well:
  • “In a capitalistic society consumer demand dictates the products it will provide and sell.”  

For those interested in this topic, take a moment to check out the other comments as well.