Online learning was the topic of a Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy event in November. Catharine R. Stimpson, University Professor and Dean Emerita (NYU) and Ann Kirschner, University Dean (Macaulay Honors College, CUNY), took part in Cloud Over the Campus: MOOCS, On-line Degrees, and other 21st Century Great Expectations, a discussion moderated by Christopher Hoadley, an associate professor in the Department of Administration Leadership and Technology at NYU Steinhardt.
Stimpson, a senior fellow at the Steinhardt Institute, described what she learned when she took on-line creative writing class at the University of Phoenix. (Her article, On Becoming a Phoenix: Encounters With the Digital Revolutions, published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, catalogues her trials and triumphs.) Kirschner, who was instrumental in establishing distance education more than a decade ago with her start-up company, Fathom, gave a brief history of online learning and discussed its advantages and limitations. She also spoke a recent foray into online learning, describing a health policy course she took from Coursera.
The Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy seeks to define and assess the critical challenges facing colleges and universities in the present era. The Institute incorporates an international perspecitve in its work and supports research and dialogue that enhance our understanding of higher education as an institution that both reflects and influences social, cultural, racial and economic difference.
(From left to right: Ann Kirschner, Catharine Stimpson, Christopher Hoadley. Photo by Tu-Lien Kim Nguyen)