Are you seriously asking if online education is as effective as face-to-face?
In a blog post in Education Week, Jason Tomassini offers a brief review of a recent article in the New Yorker that states “There are no walls between Stanford and Silicon Valley. Should there be?” At the end of his summary of the New Yorker article, Tomassini asks this question: Can online schools capture the same education experience as brick-and-mortars? I shot back an answer in the comments. Here it is:
Of course online schools can’t capture the same educational experience as face-to-face schools. Any thinking person knows that. Be wary of politicians like those in Michigan getting involved, because this decision is ultimately a financial one, and the losers will be ones who are already losing. The rich will get richer and poor will get poorer.
In the New Yorker article, we see millionaire and Standford president John Hennessy contemplating expansion into online education, but asking if the move will be good for Stanford is the wrong question. Elite students will continue to have elite Face-to-Face educations at elite schools. In their elite classrooms they will have intimate conversations with their elite professors, discussing whether or not online education is a good thing for all the non-elites out there.