Changing Tides

The economist, Paul A. Samuelson once said that the “the consumer is king.”

Students in higher education today who were once considered traditional students; i.e. students who attend face-to-face courses during the daytime and who live on college campuses, are blurring the boundaries between the traditional and the non-traditional student by opting to take online and/or blended learning courses at an increasing rate.

Today’s university students want and need more flexibility. They are demanding more varied, engaging, expanded, and active learning experiences. They also desire more objective proof of having accomplished the learning goals and objectives that are required for various courses.

Many universities are reacting to this trend. To learn more about some that are actively involved in transforming learning at the higher education level, visit the National Center for Academic Transformation at


2 thoughts on “Changing Tides

  1. IAfter being a traditional student for my B.A. in French, it was great to be able to do my Master’s in Education online as a non-traditional student, while working full-time – the best of both worlds!

    • Thanks for your input. I have also benefited from distance learning and all of the conveniences that go with it.

      The latest trend in distance learning involves its expansion into the world of traditional higher learning mileux. MOOCS are a big part of this picture: Massive Open Online Courses. Many of the big players, like MIT, Stanford, and University of Virginia, are now offering free courses online. Many of those courses are entry level courses, which represent much of the “bread and butter” of universities.

      No one can predict where all of this will take higher learning, but it seems that the outcome will be determined by a combination of how students react to MOOCS, how they evolve, and how institutions of higher learning react to the forces exerted by the intersection of information, technology, and learning.

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