The Future of Online Education

Subject: Education
Type: Profile Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 785
Topics: Academic Success, Computer Science, Graduation, Internet

Case Overview

The case study predicts the future of higher education institutions given that the growth of the internet has given rise to online education. The growth of the internet has given rise to technologies such as virtual classrooms that has enabled the existence of online education. With online education, students are able to study using online channels and take tests without physical interaction with the tutors. According to the case study, the increase in the number of institutions offering online courses is a cause of alarm to many university administrators. Ivy University is a worldly renowned university that offers undergraduate and master classes in the various course. The university has been able to expand to other parts of the world such as Asia and Europe. However, expansion to other parts of the world such as South America has been faced with challenges of the uncertainty of education of the future. Entry of new players in the online education has led to wait-and-see attitude among the major higher education institutions,

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Case Study Questions

Do you agree or disagree with Drucker’s opening quote?

I strongly agree with Peter Drucker that big university campuses will be a thing of the past in the next few decades. The rate of technology growth in education has transformed content delivery modes in education. Many students are preferring to enrol in online programs rather than those requiring them to attend classes physically. Research has shown that even the big universities have shifted to online education in their endeavour to remain relevant. Although online education has enabled these universities to increase the number of students and expand their coverage, the number of students attending physical classes have drastically reduced. With the development of technologies such as social networks, webcams, whiteboards, virtual classroom, and screencasting, students and tutors are able to interact via the internet. Using these platforms, students are able to use the internet to complete their courses without having to attend classes physically.

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Is the Internet a disruptive technology to higher education?

Technological development in higher learning has not only increased the number of the student but has increased operational efficiency. The internet has enabled efficient delivery of online courses. Although the growth of online education has disrupted the conventional system of education, there is no sufficient evidence to show that the internet is a threat to higher education. The internet instead has enabled efficient sharing of information and learning instructions via the current technologies and digital channels.

However, it is important to note that availability of new players in the delivery of online education has put the existing higher learning institutions in a precarious situation. Online learning has compelled university management to transform their institutions to meet the growing expectations of online learning. Although online learning has enabled access to efficient learning, it does not define transformative research and innovation (Garrison, 2000). Therefore, the only challenge associated with online learning is lack of a well-established infrastructure to enable access to digital classes to all. A better infrastructure will ensure tutors and learners are effectively connected from anywhere anytime. Despite the few challenges, online education can be identified as a measure of progression in higher education. However, each mode of learning is important to all institutions and stakeholders. Although there is an increase in the number of students enrolling for online courses, the traditional mode of study is also important for courses that require laboratory sessions (Rovai, 2003). This means that the current higher learning institutions will remain relevant but chances of expanding are minimal.

For Ivey’s School of Information Management, what are the business and IT challenges sustaining the infrastructure of online education?

Ivy University is a leader in the delivery of various causes and has thus been affected by the rise of online education. The primary role of the university is to invent new knowledge through research and disseminate knowledge through education. To be able to maintain its reputation, the university has embraced online education to be able to increase the number of students. To be able to achieve this, the university has strived to set up an efficient infrastructure for online education. Apart from setting up physical resources, the university has hired bright minds in research and communication technology.

However, despite the advances that the university has made, there are several businesses and IT challenges that the university has faced in sustaining online education infrastructure. First of all, IT resources required to maintain online education is expensive to set up and thus it is hard for the university to set up at once. On the other hand, online education technology is rapidly changing and thus it is hard for the organization to maintain.

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  1. Garrison, D. R. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The internet and higher education, 2(2), 87-105.
  2. Rovai, A. P. (2003). In search of higher persistence rates in distance education online programs. The Internet and Higher Education, 6(1), 1-16.
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