Home Coronavirus Coverage If online is the “new normal,” fully online colleges can teach us a lot – UB

If online is the “new normal,” fully online colleges can teach us a lot – UB

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In the wake of COVID-19, college and university leaders can learn a lot from their fully online peers—which have been iterating for years on how best to deliver online education.

Students struggling with scheduling, health and financial challenges. Concerns about access and internet bandwidth. Challenges keeping students engaged and connected across geographies, time zones, and devices.

In an instant, the entire higher education community had to confront challenges like these that have been the norm for fully online institutions for decades. Offering programs completely online is a well-documented challenge, and if we’re headed into a fall that is dominated by that teaching mode, the vast majority of colleges and universities have a significant learning curve ahead and little time to get it right.

In many ways, the pandemic has only accelerated existing trends: Prior to Covid-19, many institutions were already grappling with declining enrollment in face-to-face programs, while online courses have continued to grow. As the country braces for an economic downturn, online higher ed’s upward trajectory is likely to continue.

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