Selling the College Experience to Students Who Take Classes Online
After today's D&R and some conversations about online learning afterwards, I started to look for any recent articles that address online learning. I came across this article
from the Atlantic business section on selling the college experience to students who take classes online.
It makes the interesting point that regardless of how improved and effective the content can and will be in the future for online college courses, there will still be a desire for students to seek the "college experience". This includes hanging out with and networking with other college students. Additionally, colleges these days really market their schools on the amenities that come with going the college. Things like advanced computer labs, and state-of-the-art exercise equipment at the gyms, and other social platforms that allows students to have fun (intramural sports for example .
In many ways I agree with this idea. College is not just about acquiring knowledge and getting a degree. It is also about growth as an individual, meeting new people who like different things (both in and out of class), and getting the chance to figure out who you are going to be, and how you can get there. Learning is certainly important, but the "college experience" that is referenced in this article is arguably just as valuable.
But why is this important? As technology and online education pedagogy keep advancing, the college experience that students will often seek must be incorporated. The article describes 3 hypothetical future scenarios where the college experience is folded into online education. Take a look at these for sure!
From the author, he finishes by article with this final thought:
"The core thing I believe is just that college students will continue to value hanging out among, networking with and sleeping with other college students - and that providing a means of doing so will become a competitive enterprise in the online learning space, with an attendant amenities arms race. These are goods people are willing to pay for, and I see no reason why that should change in an age of e-learning.