Online Education Has Teachers Conflicted

Ann McClure's picture

When the University of California dangled a $30,000 incentive to thousands of professors in 2010 inviting them to create UC-worthy online courses, just 70 responded, and only a few classes materialized.

Faculty members at California State University were similarly skeptical and warned of "Walmartization" last year as trustees charged each campus $50,000 to help fund "CSU Online."

It turns out that California professors' wariness of online education is shared by faculty across the country, according to a survey released Thursday by Inside Higher Ed, an online publication widely read by academics.

Of 4,564 faculty members surveyed across all types of colleges and universities, 66 percent expressed concern about the quality of online education, saying they believe what students learn is "inferior or somewhat inferior" to what they learn in a classroom. Just 6 percent thought online courses were better.

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