News / USA

Online Classes May Force Changes at Universities

Online Classes May Force Changes at Universitiesi
X
May 30, 2013 3:03 PM
U.S. colleges face a "perfect storm" of problems as tuition costs soar, opportunities for graduates sag, and employers complain they cannot find enough workers with key technical skills. One solution may be found in the growing number and quality of on-line classes. As VOA’s Jim Randle reports, the digital revolution might transform universities the way the Internet has already changed music, publishing, journalism, retail, and other businesses.
Online Classes May Force Changes at Universities
U.S. colleges face a "perfect storm" of problems as tuition costs soar, opportunities for graduates sag, and employers complain they cannot find enough workers with key technical skills.  One solution may be found in the growing number and quality of online classes. The digital revolution might transform universities the way the Internet has already changed music, publishing, journalism, retail, and other businesses.
 
"This is pretty amazing," said the University of Virginia's David Evans, teaching an online introduction to Computer Science.
 
Online classes are now taught by many top universities and offer everything from computer programing to the science of cooking.  Many classes are either free or inexpensive, and are updated more quickly than regular college curricula. 
 
That's important to the millions of students who learn technical and other skills from Lynda.com.  Co-founder Lynda Weinman said, “We can come to market very quickly and we can teach transient skills, so a lot of software is changing constantly and new software is being invented, and those sorts of things cannot easily make their way into college curriculum.”
 
Instead of the professor lecturing to students, who then do research, study, and homework alone, many online classes flip that around, according to student and blogger John Haber, who said he is taking enough online classes to earn a four-year college degree in just one year.  
 
“They are watching the lectures at home as homework, recorded lectures, and when they get to class, they are having more active discussions, or interactions with the teachers or working on projects," he explained. 
 
Experts say the new technology will have a “major impact” on colleges.  And some predict future classes may be a blend of online lectures and professors helping students work through difficult problems in person.
 
These would be welcome changes according to Georgetown University labor economist Tony Carnevale, who said school has to be less expensive and more focused on skills needed by employers.  
 
“It's really quite clear that more and more people need post-secondary education and training and a lot of them are not getting it.  And in cases where they do get it, it doesn't lead to gainful employment.  Or it leads to jobs where they don’t fully use their talents, and we don’t have enough money to buy our way out of this  so the efficiency of post-secondary institutions is crucial now," he said. 
 
College marketing expert Chris Cullen, of the Infinia company, said competition from online alternatives, and concern about costs, will change universities. 
 
"The consumer demands that you tell me why, give me a reason, to believe that my money, my tuition money is best spent at your institution," he said. "What is the return on my investment?  What is your value proposition?" 
 
Cullen said top schools with strong reputations may expand in an online world, but less selective, less prestigious universities may struggle to attract students - and their tuition payments.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama, TKO
May 31, 2013 8:22 PM
Online education is very good opportunity especially for developing countries where most people can not get good education in their own countries.

Leaning is important but developing your thoughts and creating new ideas and products is more important thing, that is the key role of universities.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
May 31, 2013 7:52 PM
I agree post-secondary education is getteng needed more and more because the demands of skills for companies are getting variable more and more. Online classes using audiovisual techniques are easier for learners to get skills.

I suppose, in the future, tuitions for online classes would become free due to over-competition on catching learners between universities. It may be thinkable that their campuses are closed and face to face classes would be offered personaly by prestigious teachers with special charges.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs