MIT and on-line education

in Noteworthy
September 30th, 2013

MIT President reflects on the impact of on-line education…

Digital learning technologies pre­sent us with a tremendous opportunity to examine what college is good for, to imagine what colleges might look like in the future and to strive for ways to raise quality and lower costs. To teach what is best learned in person, do we need four years on campus, or could other models be even more effective? Could the first year of course work be conducted online as a standard for admission? Or could online tools allow juniors to spend a year working in the field? Then there’s the question of our physical campuses. MIT has about 200 lecture halls. How many will we need in 20 years—and what different learning spaces should campuses include instead? Should we develop a new kind of blended education that combines the best of online and in-person learning? Would this lead to a new, more customized and valuable model of residential ­education—and what changes should we make to maximize that value?

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