Scaling up, or not, with online classes
This excerpt is from an article at PBS MediaShift from January 2013. The whole thing is worth reading and includes video of Alberto Cairo talking about MOOCs. This excerpt is useful for those who think online learning is a way to scale up and make universities more efficient.
Robert Quigley, a multimedia journalism lecturer at UT-Austin, taught a 94-student online class in social media journalism for the J-School this summer. … But Quigley says it not only took several times as long to prepare as a traditional class, but he also found himself working 14- to 16-hour days to keep in touch with students, yet still missing face-to-face contact.
"It turned out to be a good experience and experiment," said Quigley. "However, it took everything I had to teach it, and then some. Online is part of the near future in education, and I welcome change. But people need to realize that to do this right, we’ll need to put in a lot of effort to be sure it’s a quality product. In order to do that, it’s going to take a lot of resources (time) from faculty.” Quigley added that after returning to teach the course in a classroom this past fall, he has decided to move it back online permanently beginning this spring.