News / Science & Technology

'Clicks' Could Be Future of Higher Education

Most college campuses still look like this early postcard view of James Madison University in Virginia from the days when it was a teachers’ college. (Library of Congress)
Most college campuses still look like this early postcard view of James Madison University in Virginia from the days when it was a teachers’ college. (Library of Congress)
TEXT SIZE - +
Ted Landphair
Even with myriad technological changes that have affected higher learning in the early 21st century, most U.S. colleges and universities are still traditional “halls of ivy,” with large classrooms, laboratory buildings and a number of student dormitories.

But a new survey of more than 1,000 Internet experts, researchers and observers of American education found that higher education may soon be more about “clicks” than “bricks.”

The survey was conducted by Elon University in North Carolina and the Pew Internet & American Life Project.  Sixty percent of its respondents agreed with the statement that, by 2020, “there will be a mass adoption of teleconferencing and distance learning” in order to give students greater access to real-world experts.  

A majority foresees a transition to “hybrid” classes that combine online studies with far less classroom discussion.

But not all the experts who were polled are thrilled with this vision.  According Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project, they worry that long-distance learning “lacks the personal, face-to-face touch they feel is necessary for effective education.”

Colleges are realizing that traditional classroom instruction “is becoming decreasingly viable financially,” says Rebecca Bernstein of the State University of New York at Buffalo.  “The change driver will not be demand or technology.  It will be economics and the diminishing pool of students who can afford to live and study on campus. "

As John McNutt of the University of Delaware puts it, “Without online education, only the wealthy will receive an education.  The traditional model is too expensive.”
Increasingly, online access is what students will need to attend college “classrooms” of the future.Increasingly, online access is what students will need to attend college “classrooms” of the future.
x
Increasingly, online access is what students will need to attend college “classrooms” of the future.
Increasingly, online access is what students will need to attend college “classrooms” of the future.

Some of the Internet experts and researchers went so far as to visualize universities of the future in which “campuses” would exist mostly for tutoring, specialized training and research.  

Jeff Jarvis, of the City University of New York, wrote in his reply to the survey that it makes little sense in today’s world to subject students to “lectures on, say, capillary action - most of them bad - when the best lectures on this and other subjects can be found and shared online.”  

If this is the future, another question might be in order.  As its student body spreads farther and farther from campus, what’s to become of one of a college’s biggest sources of income: the football program?

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
August 13, 2012 4:36 AM
Why has the number of students learning at campus been decresing? Is it because their parents become less afford to have their children attend colleges or universities than before? The answer is probably no. The reason of it seems the decreased population of children in industrialized contries. Why many higher education institutes have started offering online classes? They are struggling with gathering the applicants to make both ends meet in conduction of campus program. They are not happy however much e-learnig students grow in number bacause learnig fee is very cheap or free. They will have to raise the e-learnig expenses if they fail to increase the number of campus students by attrating them to campus with online classes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid