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Making the case for the virtual classroom

Bill Gates recently stated, “It’s very clear that five years from now, on the web, for free…

Bill Gates recently stated, “It’s very clear that five years from now, on the web, for free… you will be able to find the greatest lectures in the world on the web.” Sarah Kessler at Mashable offers six reasons an online education may be the way to go:

Bill Gates
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Bill Gates

“We re-teach the same concepts again and again,” [Gates] said. “The teacher has no sense of who in his classroom is getting it, not getting it…and when you look at all of the successful innovations, it’s where you let the student assess his knowledge, understand where they are, and proceed at a pace where they’re actually seeing that they know something before they move on.” The Department of Education’s meta-analysis, which focused on older learners, supports this. Online learners who self-monitored understanding — by, for example, deciding when to move on to the next lesson — performed better.

Kessler cites global understanding and universities’ limited physical space, among other concerns, in “The Case for the Virtual Classroom.”

Have you taken online courses? Share your experiences, good or bad, in the comments section.