Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When will universities change?

Great article on online learning republished from the Chronicle of Higher Ed in Free Dominion on “Will Higher Ed be the Next Bubble to Burst?” by Cronin and Horton. The point I like best about this is it calls out the Phoenix’s of the world who have online institutions but no real cost savings for students over state schools. Shouldn’t there be efficiencies and cost savings from online classes or are they ignoring some of the gains technology can offer?

The story highlights Brigham Young which has lowered tuition! From the article:

Brigham Young University-Idaho charges only $3,000 in tuition a year, and $6,000 for room and board. Classes are held for three semesters, each 14 weeks, for 42 weeks a year. Faculty members teach three full semesters, which has helped to increase capacity from 25,000 students over two semesters to close to 38,000 over three, with everyone taking one month (August) off. The president, Kim B. Clark, is a former dean of the Harvard Business School and an authority on using technology to achieve efficiencies. By 2012 the university also plans to increase its online offerings to 20 percent of all courses, with 120 online courses that students can take to enrich or accelerate degree completion.”

There you have it. It can be done more efficiently and online courses can accelerate the timing of graduation. The final question: why aren’t more universities doing this?