Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Someone Else Sees the Online Education Bubble

I've been blogging for a while (here and here and here, among others) about the problems with the for-profit online higher education sector, and how it shows classic signs of a popping bubble. I remain firmly convinced that this is the case.

Now, apparently, after cheer-leading the "transformative" nature of online education for years, someone at Forbes has finally figured this out as well. I don't necessarily agree with all of his reasoning, but the basic notion - that college is about more than a narrowly-defined "education" in terms of mastering facts and skills, but is an experience - is sound. The money quote:
There’s no college-education ‘bubble’ forming simply because teens go to college with an eye on a fun four years, after which they hope the school they attend will open doors for a good job. Online education only offers learning that the markets don’t desire, and because it does, its presumed merits are greatly oversold. There’s your ‘bubble.’
I'll leave my readers (all three of you) to read the rest.

1 comment:

  1. Up to four of us -- just discovered your blog and had various thoughts catching up on your recent posts. (Even inspired me to write up a post on my blog, which I'm slowly resurrecting)

    Not sure I share your bubble assessment. The bubble metaphor suggests that something will pop dramatically. I think many schools are more likely to bleed out slowly, during which time social and technical innovation will figure out good alternatives to college. It'll take time, but if you look at the MOOC-thing as a tech/education experiment while the social aspect sorts itself out, I'm less hopeful than you are.

    (Gotta love that the article we're commenting on references the old alma mater ...)