Is the fear of being left behind driving the online education rush? Will online classes change higher education? American public colleges and universities are rushing to offer online classes for different reasons.
The most cited reason is the desire to reduce cost both for the universities and students.The second reason that is behind the rush but not cited frequently is the fear of being left behind. Many public colleges and universities are seriously worried they will lose students.
The online classes seem like something that will change higher education dramatically. Realistically, it is unlikely. Most likely the same thinking and fears may have existed at the time the modern press was introduced and made books available to many students.
The only people who should fear are the book publishers. Most of the knowledge students get in colleges and universities is spread in many books. They can stay home and read these books without the instructors, but that possibility has not reduced the number of higher education institutions and the need for the instructors.
The unintended consequences of the public colleges and universities fear of being left behind, and rush for online education may be sign of more trouble for the American education system.