Technological Change, Virtual Learning, and Higher Education: Prospects, Problems, Potentials

Technological Change, Virtual Learning, and Higher Education: Prospects, Problems, Potentials

Mark A. Shields (University of Virginia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-86-5.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter takes a critical look at the current enthusiasm for on-line distance education and virtual learning, as well as some deeper cultural and institutional implications of technological modernization for higher education’s future. I address four complex questions: Does computer-based instruction really improve pedagogy and add value to the learning process? Will the spread of computing and information technologies reinforce, even exacerbate, broader social inequalities? Can on-line education contribute to sustainable intellectual communities in cyberspace? Are pressures for commercialization undermining the ethos of higher education?

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