It is an unfortunate, but true, fact that bricks-and-mortar, classroom-based universities and colleges have attempted to jury-rig online delivery onto their classroom model. The 2020-21 COVID pandemic forced the closure of traditional campus and classroom schools. Masks and social distancing that was mandated to thwart the spread of infection forced sit-down schools to close entirely or to severely curtail student attendance. So almost all undergraduate colleges, in the attempt to generate some student attendance and tuition revenue, jumped onto the online wagon, whether they had online capability or not.
Points must be given for trying to innovate and quickly adopt online, distance-learning courses into their classroom-based delivery system and curriculum, as they attempted to respond to the crises. However, it cannot be ignored, or overstated, they did a lackluster job, so now students across the country think online education is canned lectures, talking heads, and three times a week Zoom meetings. Standing in front of a video camera and lecturing to an empty room is not online education, nor is it even good distance education.
Distance education is the solution for hundreds of thousands of learners, especially adults seeking to complete degrees at all levels, bachelors, masters and doctorates. Therefore, it must be on-target, responsive to individual needs, and provide valued learning experiences.
We invite you to relate your experiences with online learning, good and not-so-good, so we can discuss how to make it better.