Recent efforts to try online education have shown that [weaker] students are the ones who most need a teacher or professor in the classroom to help them, said [Janet] Napolitano…
The president of the University of California says the obvious: In almost any form, online ed ain’t much good. It’s especially pointless (and expensive) for the people the for-profit tax syphons go after most aggressively: Those most in need of a good in-person education. Our most vulnerable, most badly-served, remedial students.
But Napolitano goes beyond this.
The courses are also proving difficult for those trying to meet lower-division college requirements. Online courses may indeed prove to be useful, she said, but more as a way to augment upper-division work for students who are already deeply engaged in their subject matter.
And franchement, if you’re deeply engaged in a subject, you’ll just feel insulted by the online treatment. By definition there’s no intensity, so real interaction, no subtlety, available in this format. That’s why in many courses almost everyone drops out:
[A] study released late last year by the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education showed that only about 4 percent of those who register for an online course at Penn complete it, even though the courses are free.