We already know what the college of the future will look like, because the non-traditional students are creating it now. It’s a hybrid of online and in-person classes, centered on the student and not the institution, with credits accruing from multiple schools, and adding up to a degree in alternating periods of attendance and absence.
…sions problem, we have a completion problem. Recognizing this means re-thinking who college is for. College is run by those of us who did well in college, so we tend to underestimate the harm we do to students whose lives aren’t like ours, harm created not out of malice but habit.
As long as we discuss online education as a pedagogic revolution rather than an organizational one, we aren’t even having the right kind of conversation. The dramatic adoption of online education is not mainly a change in the content of classes. It’s a change in the institutional form of college, a demand for more flexibility by students who have to manage the increasingly complicated triangle of work, family, and school.