Thursday, October 6, 2016

After gaining legitimacy, can online higher education replace traditional college? - Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post

A study released this month from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government found that students who enrolled in Georgia Tech’s $7,000 online master’s degree in computer science would not have gone anywhere else if the program didn’t exist. By “satisfying large, previously unmet demand for mid-career training, this single program will boost annual production of American computer science master’s degrees by 8 percent,” the Harvard researchers concluded. According to Pew, 23 percent of college graduates have taken an online course; among recent graduates that proportion rises to 46 percent. Online education won’t replace traditional undergraduate residential colleges, nor is it likely to replace face-to-face graduate education any time soon. But as the experiences of dozens of institutions have shown in recent years, virtual courses don’t need to totally disrupt traditional degrees to have a significant impact on the future of higher education.

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