Increasing the Value of a Liberal Education

by William G. Bowen, president emeritus of Princeton University

In the digital world of today and tomorrow, students need to learn how to use technology, and how to learn online. But neither liberal arts colleges nor even most universities should invest in expensive interactive online platforms of their own. What’s needed are centralized help, the expertise of research universities, and large up-front investments by foundations and/or government entities…. My plea is for a “portfolio” approach to curricular development, one that provides a carefully calibrated mix of learning styles. This mix will vary by institutional type, and liberal arts colleges can and should put much more weight on seminars, discussion groups, and directed study than large institutions can hope to do. Nonetheless, even wealthy, elite colleges and universities should ask if failing to participate in some degree of online learning is to their advantage in the long run. Their students, along with others of their generation, will expect to use digital resources — and to be trained in their use.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/04/increasing-the-value-of-a-liberal-education/256524/

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