Quite a useful and informative descriptive typology of the topic. Well done! -JL
By Phil Hill
"Although there has been a long history of distance education, the creation of online education occurred just over a decade and a half ago—a relatively short time in academic terms. Early course delivery via the web had started by 1994, soon followed by a more structured approach using the new category of course management systems.1 Since that time, online education has slowly but steadily grown in popularity, to the point that in the fall of 2010, almost one-third of U.S. postsecondary students were taking at least one course online.2 Fast forward to 2012: a new concept called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is generating widespread interest in higher education circles. Most significantly, it has opened up strategic discussions in higher education cabinets and boardrooms about online education. Stanford, MIT, Harvard, the University of California–Berkeley, and others have thrown their support—in terms of investment, resources, and presidential backing—behind the transformative power of MOOCs and online education. National media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and The Atlantic are touting what David Brooks has called "the campus tsunami" of online education.3
"Unfortunately, a natural side effect of this new interest in education and educational technology is an increase in hype and in shallow descriptions of the potential for new educational models to replace the established system. All too often, the public discussion has become stuck in a false dichotomy of traditional vs. online—a dichotomy that treats all online models as similar and that ignores blended or hybrid approaches. This false dichotomy is even more evident now that discussions are spilling into national media forums. But in fact, as my colleague Molly Langstaff has described, educational technology is interacting with innovative educational courses and programs to create not only new language but also multiple models for delivering education.4"