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)
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

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid