Distance education

A Strategic Leap Online

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Middlebury College has been known for years for immersion-based language instruction and liberal arts education. So when the college announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with a for-profit company to build an online language program aimed at middle- and high-school students, it raised some eyebrows.

When Imitation Isn't Flattery

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Officials at the Distance Education and Training Council, a Washington-based accrediting body, woke up Monday morning to find that the agency had acquired an unwelcome twin overseas.

The body was tipped off to the existence of a Web site for an organization with the same name, with a British Web domain and a Cyprus address, that claims to be “the leading global membership organization for the open and distance education community.”

Black Mark for BYU

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Brigham Young University's Independent Study program appears to be wildly successful. At any given time, students are taking more than 100,000 high school courses and 22,000 college classes, for a variety of reasons: to get courses out of the way in the summer, finish high school or college early, or improve their performance in classes in which they struggled.

The E-Book Sector

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E-textbooks might be the most-talked about and least-used learning tools in traditional higher education. Campus libraries and e-reader manufacturers are betting on electronic learning materials to overtake traditional textbooks in the foreseeable future, but very few students at traditional institutions are currently using e-textbooks, according to recent surveys.

Online, Christian Students

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The question facing universities looking to compete in the booming market for online higher education is not so much how to do it, but how to distinguish themselves from the rest.

In this, Christian universities appear to have a built-in advantage. And many are seizing the opportunity to expand their footprint.

Universities at a Crossroads

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WASHINGTON – Given the influence of rapid globalization and the emergence of knowledge-based societies, the universities of the future will bear virtually no resemblance to those of today. Or so argued a group of American and Asian education leaders who gathered here Monday to speculate on how the sector may evolve to meet future challenges.

Seed of Doubt

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Is online education as good as traditional, face-to-face education?

It is a loaded question. Online programs comprise the fastest-growing segment of higher education, with brick-and-mortar colleges — many ailing from budget cuts — seeing online as a way to make money and expand their footprints. Meanwhile, some politicians are eager for public institutions to embrace online education as a way to educate more people at a lower cost.

A Political Online Push

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When Jon Stewart asked Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty last week for some examples of how he intended to administer “limited and effective” government, the Republican governor did not roll out boilerplate rhetoric on welfare or farm subsidies. Instead, he took square aim at traditional higher education.

A Marriage Made in Indiana

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Just about everywhere you turn, state leaders are searching for a way to use online education to expand the reach of their public higher education systems at a time of diminished resources.

Continuing Debate Over Online Education

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Online education has become a hot topic recently, with more and more institutions wanting to expand offerings. And that makes studies of the quality of online education important -- and controversial.

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