Could online courses be the death of the humanities?

A world where online learning is generalised and ends up replacing other education delivery modes could seriously impact the original purpose of a university. The development of online courses in lieu of university-based teaching also poses a more practical problem for the humanities. More than other university areas, the humanities depend on public funds for teaching students. If students can access online modules for free from Ivy League universities, they may not want to spend tens of thousands on a degree at a traditional university. The hard sciences can seek industry partners for research funding, while the humanities largely depend on government grants. In a system where ‘impact’ is increasingly driving research, this would be the death knell for many departments who would struggle to make a case for the short-term practical relevance of their research in a free-market economy.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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