Members of the academic community have very strong opinions about online education. These opinions are often negative and based on myths, not evidence. Some like to share their negative perceptions in the comments section of articles or blogs about online education. Here is an example from the comment section of a recent Inside Higher Ed article entitled, “Online Education Ascends.”
Are we really ready to accept that the students are the best judges of the quality of an education they are just starting? And all kinds of things are here to stay, and most of them are horrible. That’s hardly a selling point. And maybe this is the heart of the problem. Online education for most administrations is a selling point and has very little to do with educational quality. (By: 3rd Tyrant)
I think 3rd Tyant’s comment was in response to Stewart Sutin’s comment that online education is here to stay. Sutin shared some well researched tips about how to ensure the quality of online education by:
- Carefully selecting online instructors
- Providing instructors with adequate training and access to course design specialists
- Providing adequate budgets to support faculty and quality programs
- Providing ample tech support
- Ensuring institutional objectives extend beyond enrollment growth
I agree with all of the above. I also appreciated Chris’s reply to 3rd Tyrant’s comment,
“Why the assumption that in-person is high quality but online is not?”
I’m guessing 3rd Tyrant has bought into the common myths about teaching online and hasn’t done research on the subject. 3rd Tyrant and other online education naysayers need to take time to learn the facts about teaching online. The video below does an excellent job of responding to the ten most commons myths about teaching online.
This video is one of the many excellent resources from Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence.