Jonathan Kaplan (President of Walden College) revamps the important findings of a recent US Dept. of Education report concerning online education in a piece that he wrote for Inside Higher Ed today. I blogged about the report last month. To recap, the key finding of the DOE's meta analysis was:
...on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.From reading Kaplan's essay, it appears that Walden University has embraced the dynamic world that we live with innovative online degree programs. Walden, along with other innovators, are helping to push the boundary of delivering education in the most efficient manner. The DOE's finding that online learning is as effective, if not more so, than traditional instruction provides ammunition for real reform of education --reform that is void of special interests and political thwarting --technological.
With a marginal cost trending towards zero for online education, technology has the potential to offer education to the masses - even in remote parts of the world. This possibility has to excite Bill Gates and his call for creative capitalism.
If students are willing to put in effort to learn, then online courses will become the prevalent method of delivery in due time. The train has already left the yard and is gaining inertia. Educrats will only be able to impede this movement if they are able to influence the government to impose artificial barriers to thwart the creative destruction of an anachronistic education system.