Online options… not optional!

online_studentIt’s interesting to see Florida emerging as the latest state looking to make online study a requirement for all students graduating from high school.  It’s a bold move, partly driven by the need to assess computer literacy and partly a means to offer students more choice.  It’s an initiative I whole-heartedly support.

An interesting side-effect, of course, is that it also places greater demands on universities to “up their game” by offering more online provision in their on-campus programmes. We are already seeing here in the UK the consequences of a school system in which teachers are often far more innovative than their university counterparts, student dissatisfaction being on the increase as they discover that the undergraduate experience in some institutions is suspiciously devoid of any real application of learning technologies.

The more the school system promotes the online option, the greater the pressure on the university sector to keep up.  The “blended campus” is increasingly no longer an option, but a necessity – of course, for many universities, that leaves a massive piece of work still to do in terms of faculty up-skilling!

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