Home > Distance Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education > Is Online Learning a Disruptive Innovation?

Is Online Learning a Disruptive Innovation?

By Peter J. Stokes

Depending on the sources you turn to for your higher-education reading, you might come away with the perception that online learning is a risky experiment taking place in the margins of higher education—largely under the oversight of profit-seeking, fly-by-night diploma mills.

The reality is that a quarter of all students currently enrolled at colleges and universities are taking at least one course online, and one-in-ten is enrolled in a degree program that is delivered entirely online.

So while online learners still constitute a minority, the activity is far more mainstream than many would have you believe—and students enrolled in these online courses and degree programs are often studying at some of our best public and private universities. For a variety of reasons too complicated to explain here, there are many people who would prefer to sweep these facts under the carpet.

When online higher education isn’t being characterized as risky and marginal, it is often taken to task for not having revolutionized higher education enough. We have, after all, been teaching online for nearly two decades now—when, these impatient observers ask, will the traditional classroom finally disappear?

Continued at: http://www.hepg.org/blog/54

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