Academic Leaders and Online Education

Survey results are always quite interesting — they reveal a lot, but how important is that information? The Chronicle released the results from the Babson Survey Research Group recently; some of the news was encouraging for those of us in online education, while some information was just expected.

I ask how important these surveys are because of point number three in the article: “Most professors still don’t think online courses are legit.” As someone who has been teaching online for years now, I find this strange; a few years ago, I could understand this sentiment. But these days, many if not most “traditional” on-ground institutions have some form online learning. Where is this disconnect? What’s most interesting is that, in the same survey, you have thought leaders saying that “online education is mission-critical.”

Those colleges offering quality, rigorous online courses must continue to do what they are doing, and those faculty who have doubts will come around. Are all schools offering online programs perfect? No — but if everyone can fully participate in this endeavor, the quality of courses will just get better and better.

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