THERE are several problems with the growing chorus championing online education (The Australian, June 6). The argument is that since recent information and communication technologies are clearly disruptive technologies, higher education is failing by not (yet) adopting them.
Proselytisers assert that universities are shortchanging their students and underserving society, and that most current institutions risk being superseded by new institutions or processes that will make them anachronistic if not redundant.
The more apocalyptic claims are that universities will soon be as obsolete as newspapers are becoming.
Many of the online evangelists are politicians, technophiles or businesspeople. Few are educationalists or people with much experience of distance education. Of course, the critics claim that current institutions and their staff are trapped in their traditional ways and either cannot see or resist the imperative to change.