local distance education news
This week's Independent (the March 12-18 issue) has a distance education
related cover story, focusing mostly on NC State but also hitting on some
general distance education issues. There are a number of quotes from UNC's
Bill Graves, moderator of the Internet 2 panel held a couple of weeks ago,
and from Bill Willis, who particpated in the panel over the MBone from NC
The article mentions the downside of distance ed (less direct contact and
interaction with students and teachers), but the advantages (availability
to those in remote locations) and possibilities for new ways of teaching
using technology get more ink.
An interesting statistic from the article: last year 10% of NC State's
students were distance education students. This sounds like a lot, and I
think people reading the article might get the impression that there are a
lot of NC State students taking classes using fancy technology, but based
on some research on this topic I did at NCSU's web site a couple of weeks
ago, I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of their distance education
students are just watching videotapes of taped lectures. Which certainly
is a form of distance education, but ...
Anyway, the article is more about the potential for distance education to
change universities than it is about what is actually going on today.