One knows that the field has grown quite broad when there is a curated list of this number of sources.
Clearly there is a need for an advanced search function to be able to locate specific content across the multitude of sites and platforms.
In a large, randomized experiment Bowen et al. found that students enrolled in an online/hybrid statistics course learned just as much as those taking a traditional class (noted earlier by Tyler). Perhaps even more importantly, Bowen et al. found that the online model was significantly less costly than the traditional model, some 36% to 57% less costly to produce than a course using a traditional lecture format. In other words, since outcomes were the same, online education increased productivity by 56% to 133%! Online education trumps the cost disease!
Bowen et al. caution that their results on cost savings are speculative and it is true that they do not include the fixed costs of creating the course (either the online course or the traditional course) so these cost savings should be thought of as annual savings in steady-state equilibrium. The main reason these results are speculative, however, is that Bowen et al. only considered cost savings from faculty compensation. Long-run cost reductions from space savings may be even more significant, as the authors acknowledge.
Bowen et al. also do not count cost savings to students. Based on my work with Tyler at MRUniversity, I argued in Why Online Education Works that students in online course can learn the same material in less time. Consistent with this, Bowen et al. found:
…that hybrid-format students took about one-quarter less time to achieve essentially the same learning outcomes as traditional-format students.
A 25% time-savings is significant. Moreover, the 25% time-savings figure is in itself an underestimate of savings since it does not include the time savings from not having to drive to class, for example.
Online education even in its earliest stages appears to be generating large improvements in educational productivity.
About a week or so ago, I posted somewhere the comment that PSA was not working on Higher Ed stuff per se. Today, I want to correct that here. I assumed too much of a status quo situation.
Higher Ed is undergoing a great deal of disruption, innovation, and re-invention for starters, so who’s to know what it will look like in 5 or 10 years, or next year. Since PSA is about being flexible and enabling access to online resources, we will be part of this revolution; it’s just not that easy today to know exactly how.
Clearly, we can help with access issues in the future, and aspects of facilitation and promotora support will be involved, and PSA will be “covering” that. But say a present professor wants to DO a course in a new way, and wants some help. While we might not understand the content necessarily, we certainly could help with the presentation, hosting, and course conducting…
And what if some aspects of learning for those who might not otherwise “go to college” might be desired by same? Would PSA be a part of “computers on the wall” and helping “students” navigate and successfully learn parts of “higher ed”…especially if “higher ed” becomes much more ala carte than it is today? Yes, we would.