Monday, May 11, 2015

Stanford Council considers role of technology in teaching and learning - KATE CHESLEY, Stanford

Interactive, online technology will play an increasingly important role in improving higher education. But first, credentialing challenges must be overcome; mastery of subject areas must be demonstrated and lower costs must be achieved without sacrificing quality. Those were among the assertions made by President John Hennessy during his annual address to the Academic Council on Thursday. In a talk titled "Technology in Teaching and Learning," Hennessy also expressed his skepticism about whether online educational experiences can ever replace traditional undergraduate degrees. Technology, he said, can be used specifically to increase access, especially in underserved areas; to reduce costs; and to improve learning and degree completion rates in a cost-effective manner. But the challenge for online education, he said, is that society places a high premium on college experiences offered at schools like Stanford that encompass a broad and coherent collection of courses and that emphasize life skills as well as intellectual achievement.

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