Study on Online Education Sees Optimism, With Caution

The NY Times has a report on online learning.

An online class, the report concluded, can be a worthy and in some cases a great educational experience. But to work effectively, online class sizes should be limited. And Internet learning may be inappropriate for certain academic endeavors, most notably, the completion of an entire undergraduate degree program.

\"The good news is that online teaching can be done with high quality,\" said Regalbuto, who was chairman of the group. \"But the bad news is that it is inherently more difficult to create and maintain the bond a professor needs to have with his or her class for good teaching to occur. The costs will be higher, and that will disappoint administrators eager to make a lot of money.\"

Regalbuto and other members of the group are hoping the report will promote discussion about online education not only at the University of Illinois, which launched an online education effort (University of Illinois Online) in 1997, but at the numerous other colleges and universities in the United States that are experimenting with Internet-based classes.