Inside Higher Education has an interesting article about the termination of the University of Illinois Global Campus online education project. I am very sad to hear that it didn’t work out. It sounds like the model they embraced – to take course content crafted by experienced on campus faculty and have less experienced and much cheaper adjunct faculty teach that content – was one of the core problems. Nicholas C. Burbules, Urbana-Champaign educational policy professor whom I wrote about in a previous post was quoted quite a bit in the piece. It seems like the model they were trying to create was in direct contrast to the ideas Burbules presented when I heard him speak at the Faculty Summer Institute this summer in which he spoke about how online education is not just a different mode of delivery of on-campus course content. It sounds like they are now moving in the direction of examining current successful online programs at U of I and building that up into something bigger. Sounds like a good idea – I was very happy with my online library degree at UIUC and would love to see more online education built based on models that are already really sucessful.

In library realm of distance education, I really think we need to start thinking along these terms. It’s not a question of how do we take on-campus information literacy instruction and deliver it via the Internet, but instead how do we create instruction models that work particularly well online and build up from those models to create strong programs.

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