Nov 04

Online Education — a Disruptive Innovation?

One of our colleagues from Ilisagvik College shared this article today (thanks Peter), from the NY Times, Innovation Imperative: Change Everything,“– it’s a powerful argument for higher educators to modify their approach to education and embrace online learning.

This article underscores that college, as many of us remember fondly, is no longer the “bridge” experience from childhood to adulthood, as only 30% of college students today live on a college campus. Yet, it states that online education may replace and improve that experience offering students an opportunity to socialize and learn together. Please take a look at the article linked above and report back what you think!


  1. Robin Gilcrist

    As we look at serving adult learners it is crucial to provide learning that is relevant and convenient. This article points out that elearning can provide that type of opportunity to students no matter where they live. An important piece of the puzzle is the delivery of the experiential learning that is very difficult to provide in a totally online environment. There are a few models described that I think are worth considering; such as teaching the competencies online with short intensive face-to-face lab sessions. How else are we going to teach a carpenter how to nail together rafters, except to have them in a shop with an instructor?

  2. Kathi Baldwin

    Interesting Robin– I wonder about the programs that teach medical students, nursing students, pharmacy and aviation in totally online environments. Can these programs teach these disciplines without face-to-face instruction? Is it enough to couple internships and externships as parts of the programs? Can you teach a carpenter how to nail together rafters without being in the shop together? I bet there is a program out there someplace saying ‘yes’! Good question though.

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