Saturday, November 11, 2006

What are the Barriers to Widespread Adoption of Online Education?

There seems to be a bug with the editor on beta. So the emphasis might not come out now as I would have wanted them to.
I take a block from the just published "Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006" on the question of barriers to adoption.

Previous studies in this series have identified a number of areas of concern for the potential growth of online offerings and enrollments. Academic leaders have commented that their faculty often don’t accept the value of online learning and that it takes more time and effort to teach an online course. To what extent do these leaders see these issues and others as critical barriers to the widespread adoption of online learning?
The evidence: Problem areas identified in previous years are still seen as areas of concern among academic leaders.
  • Only 4.6 percent of Chief Academic Officers agreed that there are no significant barriers to widespread adoption of online learning.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the academic leaders cite the need for more discipline on the part of online students as a critical barrier.
  • Faculty issues, both acceptance of online and the need for greater time and effort to teach online, are also important barriers.
  • Neither a perceived lack of demand on the part of potential students nor the acceptance of an online degree by potential employers was seen as a critical barrier.

If 95.4% of the Chief academic officers say there are NO significant barriers to online learning, why are we not seeing high adoption of eLearning in the universities - especially the traditional ones? I have a problem though with the way the question was asked "There are No Significant Barriers to Widespread Adoption of Online Learning" and tend to think that the result would be significantly different if the question was "There are Significant Barriers to Widespread Adoption of Online Learning".

If student discipline is seen as a barrier to adoption of online education, what are the attributes that the online learners have to be regarded as disciplined?

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