New venues of online learning

The New York Times has an enlightening series, Weaving a Web of Knowledge, that discusses the major new players in the world of learning online.  It describes Western Governors University, Learning Counts, The University of the People, and Straighterline.  I've mentioned all of these in earlier posts.  Tamar Lewin, in A Short-Lived Test, Even With Coaching, chronicles her experience with two online courses.

Are these the future of adult and continuing education?

Online Enterprises Gain Foothold as Path to a College Degree
Harvard and Ohio State are not going to disappear any time soon. But a host of new online enterprises are making earning a college degree cheaper, faster and flexible enough to take work experience into account. As Wikipedia upended the encyclopedia industry and iTunes changed the music business, these businesses have the potential to change higher education.
Ryan Yoder, 35, a computer programmer who had completed 72 credits at the University of South Florida years ago, signed up with an outfit called Straighterline, paid $216 to take two courses in accounting and one in business communication, and a month later transferred the credits to Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey, which awarded him a bachelor’s degree in June.  
Alan Long, 34, a paramedic and fire captain, used another new institution, Learning Counts, to create a portfolio that included his certifications and a narrative spelling out what he had learned on the job. He paid $750 to Learning Counts and came out with seven credits at Ottawa University in Kansas, where he would have had to spend $2,800 to earn them in a traditional classroom.

And Erin Larson, who has four children and works full time at a television station but wanted to become a teacher, paid $3,000 per semester to Western Governors University for as many classes as she could handle — plus a weekly call from a mentor. “Anywhere else, it would have cost three arms and legs,” said Ms. Larson, 40, “and as a certified procrastinator, I found that weekly call very useful.”

For those who have the time and money, the four-year residential campus still offers what is widely considered the best educational experience. Critics worry that the online courses are less rigorous and more vulnerable to cheating, and that their emphasis on providing credentials for specific jobs could undermine the traditional mission of encouraging critical thinking.

But most experts agree that given the exploding technologies, cuts to university budgets and the expanding universe of people expected to earn postsecondary degrees, there is no end in sight for newfangled programs preparing students for careers in high-demand areas like business, computer science, health care and criminal justice.


online learning said…
Well, Like to choose those places for online education and learning. I am grateful to you for this suggestion.
One of the best part of online learning is that, aside from saving these students from dropping out, is that many of them go on to higher education, and they have credited their experience with online learning in helping them to succeed. They have built up their self esteem, they learn that they can succeed at something if they really try, and they develop the self-discipline necessary to succeed beyond high school.

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