ERIC Number: ED437554
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Virtual Learning: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Trends and Issues Alert No. 12.
A new breed of nontraditional institution has arisen to meet the demands of working adults who want to participate in lifelong learning but lack the time for full- or part-time study at a traditional institution. These new institutions range from completely virtual universities, online arms of existing institutions, learning marketplaces, or brokers of other institutions' online courses. Although there are many legitimate virtual institutions, cyber versions of diploma mills are also springing up. Legitimate virtual learning sites are beginning to be accredited through existing agencies such as the North Central Association Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Accrediting agencies and candidate institutions must learn new evaluation methods. For example, traditional evaluation instruments contain questions that are irrelevant in the online environment. Key issues regarding virtual learning include: (1) educational/information technology tends to increase costs; (2) the questions of who will regulate a global learning market and how employers can evaluate credentials must be answered; and (3) virtual universities will help only those who have the necessary equipment and experience to be comfortable with the technologies. (An annotated bibliography constituting approximately 75% of this document contains 22 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Accreditation (Institutions), Adult Education, Adult Learning, Distance Education, Educational Needs, Educational Practices, Educational Quality, Educational Technology, Educational Trends, Electronic Mail, Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, Nontraditional Education, Online Systems, Program Evaluation, Trend Analysis, Virtual Universities, World Wide Web
ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Center on Education and Training for Employment, College of Education, Ohio State University, 1900 Kenny Rd., Columbus, OH 43210-1090. For full text: http://ericacve.org/fulltext.asp.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.