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Keep Distance Learning at a Distance

Distance and on-line learning are here...or if not here, they continue to lurk around the corner. I fear their arrival for many reasons.

My primary fear is that so many people feel they are inexpensive replacements for teaching/classrooms.

In 1999, a Coopers-Lybrand report claimed that 25 packaged on-line courses could meet the needs of one-half of the community colleges and one-third of four-year colleges. Ugh!.... Education is so much more than meeting "the needs."

A second fear is that students are attracted to distance learning because it often involves lower-level demands on one's learning and via assessments. I know there are counter-examples, but these are "re-countered" by what students continue to report to me.

An example: Multiple-choice exams in an on-line math history course...no writing of essays, no reflective challenges, no problem-solving, ....i.e. nothing but a skeleton of the quality that can and should be!