Will Shift to Remote Teaching Be Boon or Bane for Online Learning?
Because of COVID-19, most professors and students suddenly find themselves forced to use technology as they teach and learn. A panel of experts explores whether that will help or hurt attitudes about online education.
The prospect of hundreds of thousands of professors and students venturing into academic cyberspace for the first time has prompted some commentators to take to social media to predict that this period could alter the landscape long term for online education. “Every faculty member is going to be delivering education online. Every student is going to be receiving education online. And the resistance to online education is going to go away as a practical matter,” James N. Bradley, chief information officer at Texas’s Trinity University, wrote in a LinkedIn post.
Goldie Blumenstyk, my friend and former colleague at The Chronicle of Higher Education, went so far as to suggest that the coronavirus could be a “black swan” moment — “more of a catalyst for online education and other ed-tech tools than decades of punditry and self-serving corporate exhortations.” She continued, “It seems safe to say that this will be not only enormously disruptive but also paradigm changing. The ‘black swan,’ that unforeseen event that changes everything, is upon us.”