The Role of Technology in Quality Education
Department of Education
Quality education is a universal goal. It is common to hear arguments that instructional technology will be the key to educational quality as we enter the new millennium. Investment in educational technology is urged upon policy-makers as the path to educational quality. In fact, enthusiasts for educational technology argue that quality has and will continue to increase rapidly, creating a "new educational culture" Whatever problems exist are seen as ones which can be handled through better administrative and technological planning - that is, technology believers perceive no intrinsic …show more content…
Educational institutions in all advanced countries encounter strong incentives for private sector partnering since the high costs of multimedia-rich online curricula are often beyond what a single local college can afford. In the traditional "community of scholars" the student was mentored as an apprentice and eventually became a co-investigator in research and creative activity. Advocates of online education argue that this notion of academic community will be enhanced through the wonders of technology.
Online education is frequently the province of the campus adult education unit, not the academic departments. Often instructor participation is an overload, potentially seducing faculty away from research. Administrators seek to use online education "to increase academic productivity" and, as discussed elsewhere in this essay, seek cost savings in an atmosphere unfavorable to the research function. Moreover, most institutions have found that online education is intrinsically very demanding of valuable faculty time, which can also take away from research. On the student side, the social distance inherent in online education seems to make students want clear, precise, objectives-oriented curricula which may represent a narrowing of education, and may make them unlikely candidates for collegial work on faculty research projects. The reality of online education is that it favors a transition from traditional notions of academic community toward a much narrower,