Online Learning Update

May 31, 2011

Online Learning: Is College (Finally) Ready For Its Innovation Revolution?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

By Derek Thompson, the Atlantic

“The price of college is going to fall, and the Internet is going to cause that fall. The rest of it is really difficult to figure out.” If a college student today stepped into a time machine and traveled back to Plato’s Academy of ancient Athens, she would recognize quite a bit. Sure, it might take some time to master ancient Greek and the use of stylus on wax, but she would eventually settle into a familiar academic routine. Colleges rarely think about efficiency, because all the signals tell them to spend more money on fewer students. Theoretically, the most efficient school would give the highest quality education to the most people for the lowest price. In reality, national rankings reward universities for rejecting the highest number of applicants, teaching the fewest number of students per class, and spending the most per capita on resources. That doesn’t mean colleges are failing. It means the system suffers from an incentive to be inefficient.

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