His article can be read here:
As a result, I replied with these thoughts:
Excellent points Jason. I particularly like the photos of all those faces interacting in real time via their computers. For too long online learning has been viewed as inferior, even to the point of some countries refusing to recognise qualifications earned through online training for employment purposes. It's almost as if the exams, research reports, essays, presentations, and conference papers produced in the context of online learning are less worthy than ones produced in a traditional classroom. I think it partly stems from the misunderstanding that less teacher input means less learner competency. The other fallacy that has persisted is that students in purely online classes receive less individual attention than their in-class colleagues. My experience of physical classes is that students often receive minimal amounts of personal attention in preference to group or whole-of-class activities, simply as a result of greater teacher-talk time or the larger number of students present at the time. From an institutional perspective, one of my previous university employers strongly believed that the teaching workload in an online course would be significantly less than in a traditional setting, thus mostly being useful as a cost-saving measure. I am certainly not arguing that every program can be effectively delivered online. For example, those requiring the exercise of personal skills, such as music performance or medical procedures, are least amenable to online completion, but even these could be offered in a blended model. I suppose ultimately it will be the demands of students for more convenient and more flexible ways of learning that will lead to the movement of educational models into more online approaches.
I hope that more thoughtful discussion will proceed in the future within both existing educational institutions as well as those emerging more recently.