According to the week4 papers, the online course has been popular for years. Several papers reporting the development of online course in the United States with recent years showed that the proportion of students involved in undergraduate-level online education (83.9 percent) is slightly below that of the total population of student involved in a standard undergraduate education (85.6 percent).
The economic downturn, which resulted in increasing rates of unemployment, led to an increasing demand for online courses. One of my university professors once told us that bad economic time are often the best times for pursuing a degree, as admissions are often not competitive.
As we can see from the reporting, most of students take online classes attain an associate's degree, which means they might only want to spend two years doing graduate work online. Interestingly, most of these students are new, which means they wouldn't have enrolled in a traditional program with face-to-face classes. Thus, after initial shock my question is: Should a college student spend four years engaged in studying? When beginning my bachelor's degree I took courses as many courses as possible, including core courses, elective courses, and physical courses etc. A friend of mine, being a senior career and technical teacher for more than ten years, has ever told me that most of his students are not interested in conducting research or any academic papers, but more concerned about the most efficient way of finding a good job.
In terms of the two reasons why students took the online course: decreased availability of good jobs and those currently employed seek to improve their chance for promotion by pursuing higher degree, have you ever thought of the reason why online courses have been mainly taken by the learners who are not currently full-time students? I think this somehow explains the drawbacks of online course. Just like while some of new technologies tried to threaten or replace the traditional tool, they might be coexisting in the end. According to my reading, further, when it comes to "for pedagogical advantages" and "for personal and professional growth", the percentage of chief academic officer rated it as "important” are distinguishably higher than the percentages of online teaching faculty rated it as the same; this shows that in terms of the perspective of online teaching faculty, online course has few enhancements to their pedagogical and professional growth. Above all, when it comes to “To earn additional income”, 40.7 percent of chief academic officer rated it as "important", but 19.9 percent of online teaching faculty rated it as the same: Is one of ultimate goal of building online course to earn much money? I was really disappointed at this point. We have been talking a lot about the merits of online course, but does online course really help the learners find a better job or gain more knowledge efficiently? Or even their professional growth? I doubt it. Further empirical evidence on those kind of concerns might thus be needed.
Moreover, Bill Gates’s idea that going to universities to get an education is going to go away relatively soon. I kind of appreciate his thoughts, especially he has been a kind of anti-open person. Yet, after initial applause my question is: Are the online courses and all the learning web-resources ready for all of the learners who are about to go to university relatively soon? Are these resources capable of replacing the fact that going to colleges in such a way as to find a good job or gain the knowledge?
Surprisingly, after I had read the points that "However, it was found that less than 1/3 of CAO believed that faculty accepted the values and legitimacy of online education" from Thanompor, I found out that Xiaojing’s "Academic leaders do not believe that there is a lack of acceptance of online degrees by potential employers".
My questions are: How come the academic leaders had this kind of thoughts? Does the most of the academic leaders themselves believe that online courses won’t be making the instruction meaningful at all? If so, how come they could expect that the potential employers will appreciate the value of it? Really, I am being curious about the reasons beyond this issue! I hate to say that, but it seems online courses are not appreciated by the academic leaders somehow.