A Provocative View of Online Learning

According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, about 39% of students who graduated from college in the past decade took at least one online class. Additionally, a majority of surveyed college presidents believe that this trend will not slow down any time soon.


Still, in order to better compete with other institutions, some colleges and universities are already looking for the next trend in higher education. For example, The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that Southern New Hampshire University created an innovation team to find a unique way to give students increased access to college credentials.


Many schools are already looking for the next model of higher education. J. LeBlanc, president of the school, created a document that outlines his vision of the next higher education model. In this paper, he states that future online programs will not have any form of conventional instruction. Instead, students will be free to finish their work at their own pace and complete a proctored assessment when they have completed their assignments.


The paper states that this form of education would be cheaper, as the school would not need to pay for day-to-day instruction. Additionally, students would only need to pay for the cost of course credits and the final assessment.


Would this model have any applicability to training future health professionals?  Could students learn chemistry or pharmacology in this manner?  Or is this model better suited to the social sciences and humanities??  What role does an instructor play in student achievement?

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