Just because we can doesn’t always mean we should. Yes, it is true that more and more people are taking courses online via MOOCs, but do we really know how successful that is?
There are a whole host of problems with getting rid of face to face opportunities for online learners, but let’s start with just these two:
- Most learners don’t know what they don’t know.
While this may seem obvious, it isn’t. Of course we can find all kinds of online resources on just about any topic these days, but if they don’t already know the material, how can a learner judge whether or not the information is good, or even true?
- Community is really important to perseverance and retention in online learning, and the evidence strongly supports the notion that face to face meetings (at least at first) are crucially important for building a sense of community.
These are things we should fight for. These are too important to get ‘cut’ in the never-ending effort to make things profitable.