Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Integration of Online Learning into the Mainstream

One of my favorite sayings is that at some time in the near future, we will drop the "e" in "e-Learning" - it just will become Learning. We will see the same faculty teaching students with the same qualifications a mix of online and blended plus classroom courses.

This is all about options - give students the option to learn on-campus, online, and blended; to match student learning styles and life circumstances with institutional offerings to maximize student learning, and to provide maximal ACCESS to higher education.

Prof. Gary Miller, Penn State: "Today, online learning is moving distance education into the mainstream, blurring distinctions between on-campus and off-campus instruction as higher education transforms itself to respond to the forces for changes that are being wrought by the Information Revolution." (ref.)

Examples of online moving into the mainstream (and typically out of continuing education units) - University of Nebraska, Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale - all in the past year have moved or are moving it into the mainstream. The University of Minnesota is now in the process of developing system-wide policies and plans to move online programs into the mainstream.

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