Duke University Leaves Semester Online: Questions about long-term effects

May 23, 2013 at 1:05 am 2 comments

Semester Online sounded like a nice idea — getting liberal arts focused institutions to share their online course offerings.  The pushback is interesting and reflects some of the issues that have been raised about sustainability of online education as a replacement for face-to-face learning or even as an additional resource.

While Dr. Lange saw the consortium as expanding the courses available to Duke students, some faculty members worried that the long-term effect might be for the university to offer fewer courses — and hire fewer professors. Others said there had been inadequate consultation with the faculty.

When 2U, the online education platform that would host the classes, announced Semester Online last year, it named 10 participants, including Duke, the University of Rochester, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest — none of which will be offering courses this fall. “Schools had to go through their processes to determine how they were going to participate,” said Chance Patterson, a 2U spokesman, “and some decided to wait or go in another direction.”

via Duke University Leaves Semester Online – NYTimes.com.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. eric  |  May 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Possibly because money? When education is free, who would pay high price for their “I look better than you on paper.” Degree
    The reason why online education is not popular is same reason why we can’t get electric cas. It involve with major player in the field but no yet to enter the game, we can never get the best things because company want to protect its share of market, the degree is not even matter now but an name on top of paper.

    Just my personal opinion…..

  • 2. Philip J. Spottswood, Ph.D.  |  May 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    In the not to distant future, businesses will hire based on competencies and not on credentials. This is already beginning to happen in international settings (e.g., the international competency tests for computer skills). This paradigm shift in how we educate people (online) and how we evaluate competency will fundamentally transform the “bricks and mortar” academic institutions. They are the “mainframes” of the computer transformation of the last quarter century. Phil Spottswood,


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