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“Trading Up”

In 2003, Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske published the book Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods…And How Companies Create Them.  As partners at The Boston Consulting Group, Silverstein, Fiske (now the CEO of Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc.) and others worked to research the consumer purchasing trends in the United States and overseas.  The phenomenon that they identified was the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for certain goods even in times of economic downturns. 

Trends in Student Aid – 2008

Earlier this month, I posted an article on The College Board’s annual report, Trends in College Pricing.  There is a companion report to Trends in College Pricing, Trends in Student Aid.   Published since 1983, this year’s Trends in Student Aid report is only 20 pages long but is supplemented by a website that provides detailed information on all aspects of student aid. 

Trends in College Pricing – 2008

The College Board has published an annual report on college pricing since 1998.  The report looks at tuition and fees, room and board, and other related costs at colleges in the United States.  It also reviews the net price of college after subtracting financial aid grants to students.  Colleges are categorized as public four-year, public two-year, and private non-profit four year. 

Distance Education: States’ Rights and Institutional Responsibilities

Dr. Russell Kitchner is Director of Regulatory and Governmental Relations at American Public University System.  I asked him if he would provide a guest blog article on the changing environment of state regulations of distance education programs.

Whenever I contemplate the overarching purpose for investing in higher education, I recall Thomas Carlyle’s proposition to the effect that we should “Let each become all that he was created capable of being.”  I consider this to be one of the guiding principles at the core of higher education as it has evolved in America, and given that ideal, I believe that the critical issue facing American higher education and the individual states is affordable access to quality higher education.

Community Matters

Following up on my article regarding Adult Online Learners, I asked Phil McNair, our Vice President for Academic Services to discuss some of our efforts for more interactivity among our students.  Phil’s guest article is printed below.

A concern of many students attending college online is that they are not having a “real” college experience: no football games, no dormitories, no cafeterias or gyms or face to face interaction with fellow students. 

Online Adult Learners

American Public University System and its two universities, American Military University and American Public University, have served online learners, many of them working adults, since the early 1990’s.  Since that time, utilization of the internet, broadband availability and other technologies have continued to evolve and the number of studies reporting methodologies for success has increased as well.

Digital Natives

I had planned to followup my article about Apple with an article about the differences between my generation of computer users and my children’s generation.  The impetus for my original plan was watching my eight year old daughters search Google the other morning for the term “cute baby animal pictures.”  When I saw that Google was able to synthesize that request and deliver links to some very cute baby animals, I thought about the term Digital Native which I had first heard a few years ago from West Virginia’s First Lady, Gayle Manchin. 

Online Education in Developing Nations

Universal education in the United States is no longer a novel idea; in fact, K-12 education has become something most Americans take for granted.  Even with issues of access and affordability in the world of American higher education, the possibility of obtaining a college degree is not out of the question for most Americans.  For many in the world, however, education is far from a “given;” millions of children in developing nations never see the inside of an elementary school classroom and the concept of achieving any level of postsecondary education seems as likely as sprouting wings and flying to the moon. 

Affordability Part 3: Financial Aid

Graphic from Measuring Up 2006, a publication of The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, showing the increasing costs of various consumer goods and services in relation to the Consumer Price Index.

As a recipient of financial aid in the 1970’s when I attended Duke and Tulane, I can relate to the continual and ongoing debate about the affordability of college. 

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

Clayton Christensen, the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, and Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson team up on this recently published book.  In Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, Christensen and his co-authors apply sound theory, research, and practicality to a subject that no one wants to tackle: reforming K-12 education in America.