Thursday, July 19, 2012

More on High-Tech Education

More classes are being offered, by prestigious universities - I'm not talking about your diploma mill online courses from the for-profit sector - online, including some I might be interested in myself. More shockingly, many of these classes are being offered free of charge. The question is, "Is this a threat to my job?"
I think not. These sites are very aware of supply-side factors, but they say little about the demand side. While it's true that information transfer does not need to be as costly or labor intensive as it is, it is exactly what many average students need. Motivated, intellectually-curious students can easily absorb information, but many students are not sufficiently motivated or intellectually curious to do so.
Instead, I still think that technology is an effective complement to labor-intensive instruction at many liberal arts colleges and universities, but perhaps less so at large state flagship universities, and will make personalized (but still labor intensive) instruction more enhanced.

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