Rich Vedder: Online Higher Ed Works

In a new Minding the Campus essay, Rich Vedder writes about online higher ed and explains why he thinks it will revolutionize post-secondary learning.

In addition to the arguments Rich adduces, I’d like to add one more. Online education would seem to mostly if not completely solve the problem of what Murray Sperber calls “the faculty-student nonaggression pact.” That is to say, the implicit deal that professors often strike with their undergrads: The course won’t be very demanding and the grades will be high, but the prof won’t put much effort into it. I don’t think that modus operandi will remain once online courses have to compete with other online courses. Professors will try to put their best foot forward when preparing talks that will be seen (and commented on) by many students who are looking for a worthwhile educational experience. Shooting the breeze in class about irrelevant things, blathering away with dull, old lectures, ducking out of class early or not meeting at all — none of that will work in the online world.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular


Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More