I heard this news on the radio and have seen it in several news sources, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system will work toward a Pawlenty’s goal of having 25 percent of all credits earned at MnSCU campuses come from online courses by 2015.
I have pretty mixed views on this. I like the idea of having online classes. I drove to and from Chicago 2 times a week for a semester to finish one of my degrees. I left about 3am, attended 2 classes and drove home – twice a week. Don’t ask me what classes, I don’t remember. I was asleep! I begged the school to look into distance learning – but it was 1995.
So I definitely see a place for online learning.
But mandating that a certain number of credits, hmm. Do the students have broadband to access the classes? Do they have decent computers? Is there student demand for that much online leaning? Are all students well served by online classes? Have the teachers had training to provide online classes? (My husband teaches an online class – he had one day of training. That’s not enough! It’s enough to learn how to use the tool but I don’t think it’s enough to learn how to teach effectively online.)
I guess I like the goal if it asked the schools to be prepared for 25 percent online classes. Also I want to know what’s going into it.
Maybe the plan should be to create programs in the universities that are so good that people outside of the state are demanding that the courses online and maybe we could expand the credits by 25 percent by offering programs that are so amazing that people will take them online.