Tamar Lewis has an important article on the front page of today’s New York Times, “Colleges Adapt Online Courses to Ease Burden “ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/education/colleges-adapt-online-courses-to-ease-burden.html?ref=education.
I’ll comment more on it in due course but here’s her starting point: “…the gritty task of harnessing online materials to meet the toughest challenge in American higher education: giving more students access to college, and helping them graduate on time.”
Are those really the “toughest challenge in American higher education“? Or are they two slices of white bread around what should be the meat in the sandwich – getting students to engage and learn. Without student engagement and learning access to college doesn’t mean much and graduation rates are not likely to rise from their current dismal levels.
There is plenty of evidence that student engagement and learning need to rise throughout higher education. That, in my opinion, is the toughest challenge. Let’s get it in focus first, and judge technologies and innovations by whether they contribute to it or not.