… titled DEATH OF THE DOTCOM DEGREE.
Despite many commentators such as US management guru Peter Drucker saying that “bricks and mortar” universities would disappear within 30 years, there’s no sign they are vanishing.
… But the virtual universities that were set up during the dotcom boom have almost all disappeared.
… All along, [Clifford] Stoll has maintained that students want social interaction. “There’s the interaction with other students. It isn’t just memorable; it’s really the purpose of living. The reason we go to college or even elementary school is to be closer to others, to develop friendships. I’m sure I’m like you. I went to college thinking, ‘Hey, this is going to be a weird experience’,” Stoll says.
“I’m not going to get that from an online university, no matter if all the web units are taught by Nobel laureates, which they are not.”
… “(From) working in the area for a while [says one professor] you realise that the principles of good teaching and learning change very slowly if they change at all and the technology changes very quickly,” he says.
“The danger is to see that the new technology is the thing that we should be focusing on (but) really we should be focusing on what it is that makes a quality teaching and learning experience…”
… Stoll also is wary of new online technologies in the classroom. “My feeling is that the hard lesson that every generation has learned is that there’s no cheap way to get an education,” he says. “There’s no short cut to a quality education.”