Free access to online learning will challenge, improve education

by Abby Grosse, Manitou Observer, St. Olaf College

It’s unnerving, to say the least: Higher education is more expensive than it’s ever been while its value has never been more questioned. The “consumers” of education want to see a direct relationship between tuition dollars spent now and professional income a few years out, so the “producers” are facing unprecedented pressure to commodify the college experience. At a school like St. Olaf, one that prides itself on its small, traditional seminars, it’s easy to interpret structural changes as assaults on our core values. But one possible reform – putting introductory lectures online – could be an advantageous move for our students, faculty and surrounding communities.

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