Sentences to ponder model this

The proportion of students studying fully online who are enrolled within 50 miles of their homes has risen from under half to fully two-thirds, a new study finds.

Here is the longer piece.


Good. The next generation of socialists will fail online instead of in the classroom. Save taxpayers a lot of money.

Model what? That having online services commonly available means they will be used?

Wait until you find out how many people look for reviews of places to eat within 50 miles of where they live too. This provides some information on a subject which is probably worth another love letter about the benefits big business brings us all -

Distance matters.

I don't now why they came up with the 50 mile boundary when the median commute is between 5 and 13 miles for US metro areas (Euclidean distance, AKA straight line). The longest median commutes: Atlanta, Dallas-FW, Houston, Phoenix. Appendix B pages 20 and 21

Full time workers commute much less than 50 miles, do we expect students and student-workers to travel longer distances several days per week more than full-time workers?

Time Matters

I know when I took online classed within 10 miles of my home, that saved me 1.5 hours of commuting.

"The proportion of students studying fully online"

One easy answer suggested by the article itself is pretty mundane: kids are exposed to the advertising of nearby colleges , and many of their teachers and mentors will be alumni of the nearby colleges as well.

And then when you factor in the considerable expense of dorms, and/or living away from home, there's an economic win as well.

And as anyone associated with GMU over decades knows, the commuter school model can be very lucrative, especially when there is a large number of people interested in continuing (credentialed) education. Particularly in a place like the DC metro region, but at this point, many people see a direct benefit in having the opportunity to pay for the chance to increase their potential lifetime earnings, even if the process is not as clearly defined as it is when the federal government is your employer.

Too bad you got fired, then, huh?

Another repeated falsehood, as you have been told repeatedly - always fascinating to see how regardless how many times someone is told that they believe in a deluded fantasy, they prefer living in it.

But then, this is the MR comments section, where a fascinating need to believe fantasies is indulged endlessly. As already noted here, among other places -

You assert that it's a falsehood, but that doesn't give me any reason to believe you.

"The growing number of schools offering online programs provides students with more options closer to their home. Local schools have greater visibility among employers and others in the community, which is valuable to students."

Alternatively, have the in-state/out-of-state tuition fees for online education changed?

Some colleges charge in-state for students from anywhere. Others charge out-of-state, while others have an special price for online. It would be interesting to look at these prices and their evolution.

Good point. No mention at all about in-state out-state tuition. This clear has the effect of locking people into their geography. Since not all states have top ranked schools this makes their economies even less competitive.

Is tuition lower for online courses? In-state as well as out-of-state. If I were attending a large public university today, I might choose online classes for those required courses taught on campus in a large auditorium with hundreds of students in attendance and TAs doing the bulk of the work. Many courses are available online, not for credit but just for learning. I mean an entire semester's worth of a college course at an elite university, at Yale, Columbia, Stanford, etc. I have "taken" online courses from, among others, Robert Shiller. Something I've noticed is that it's almost entirely lecture format, with little or no participation by the students. What happened to the Socratic method? Is it dead like the great philosopher himself? If all one gets is a lecture, why not watch it online. I recall the Socratic method, and the fear that I would be the day's "victim". Boy, was that incentive to prepare for class. What's the incentive for an online class?

For those who didn't experience the pleasures of the Socratic method, it's not a fair fight. For two reasons: the professor is an expert on the subject and he gets to ask the questions. He usually would start with a few soft ball questions and then ask progressively more difficult questions until he "won". He would then move on to the next "victim".

Here's a Socratic story. One night during the week I attended a music recital on campus. I can't remember whether it was a student or a professional musician, as this was many, many years ago. At the recital I saw one of my professors, and he saw me and recognized me from his class. Most professors had assigned seating for the students so the professor could look at his copy of the seating chart and call on his next "victim" by name. Anyway, the day after the recital, the professor I saw at the recital looked down on his chart, looked up at me, and as my heart raced, he looked down on his cart again and called on the student sitting next to me. I assumed I was spared because I had attended the recital and he assumed I didn't have time to prepare for the next day's class. Thenceforth, I attended every music recital and every lecture by a visiting scholar.

The point of this story is that students who "attend" college online are missing valuable lessons that will stick with them forever.

A heartwarming story for my Friday morning... hard to find in these lands!

I didn't attend a college rigorous enough for the Socratic method to be employed - less the professors' fault, I am sure, than the material they had to work with, we students largely being products of the public schools of the great state of *****. In effect, most of us arrived with something like an 8th or 9th-grade education. I remember an English prof trying to illumine Donne wailing, "Didn't any of you at least go through Vacation Bible School?"

But I too feel this notion that it can be done online indicates there's been a 180 on the idea of college, expectations of what you are getting, and what sort of kids deserve to be there.

What my husband got out of it, segueing straight - no "applying" anywhere - from a small private school on the fringe of the university, was the social aspect, the start of the "networking" that is in some way his great talent; a lot of time spent on music; and most of all on his campus home, the college newspaper, which disciplined his writing. Classes certainly didn't get the best of him; but fairly or not I think he felt he had sussed out the few teachers that were worth listening to enough to bother attending class. [He would readily have conceded that a STEM course (though we didn't use the term) called for a completely different approach for which he was not cut out.] Perversely, for someone whose class attendance I judged poor (at least when he was an undergraduate) - and my own was not stellar - he occasionally attended my classes if something there interested him.

Fortunately, we came up when we did, because obviously, though he was very much a man-about-campus, he is not the sort of candidate the modern university is looking for, nor, equally obviously, would or could online classwork have had anything to offer him (though he now in a sense "attends" the classes he missed because he likes to listen to those Great Course audio cds while traveling).

As less-than-perfect a student as he was, I was yet more blameworthy. Having grown up in the bland suburbs of a city that is 10% beautiful and 90% soul-crushingly ugly, my college career was mostly spent wandering around in absent-minded bliss at finding myself in such architecturally-distinctive, "walkable-urbanist" surroundings. That, and searching, like Diogenes with lantern, for - not an honest man - but the most intelligent boy on campus.

Often, it's the opposite; they charge an additional technology fee for online classes. And, of course, they still charge you for use of campus facilities.

I would suspect that name recognition explains a lot of this. You may be able to take a distance learning course from Stanford or Yale, but they are unlikely to grant a degree.

Among real options for fully online students, why choose never heard of ( by student, family, local employers) Distant Directional State vs. familiar Local Directional State.

The major cost of online college is the fact that it is very difficult to find a lifetme mentor. Someone who sticks with you and continually inspires you long after college.

But the major plus is that you don't have to deal with rush hour. That is why people study online. No one really wants to study online and most would rather be in class, fully engaged. So if major metropolis could reduce traffic congestion these numbers would decline.

Well these “students” certainly didn’t go to Oxford!

“Local schools have greater visibility among employers and others in the community, which is valuable to students.”


Do we know what percentage of these online students complete their classes/graduate?

Curricula development coordinated with local employers and job placement

Sometimes you have to be physically present for tests, no?

Yeah, but it doesn't have to be in the actual school. So if you live far away you can take it at a local public library.

in a city to the south every local high school grad with a b average
get automatic admission and cheap/free tuition to the local
community college
that is a huge incentive

Prwsident Captain Bolsonaro has ordered a study to create a Brazilian-controlled South American currency. A kind of South American euro.

the Amerikan universities have come up with a university controlled
secret currency called the adversity index, no wait a minute they just
changed the name to something else even dumber

I can't model it if I don't know what percentage of "local" content is locally produced. Does every college reinvent the wheel? Are they "affiliates" for open source material? Are they directing students to or giving credit for materials produced elsewhere?

I notice that MRU offers such free resources. If they are delivered "locally" is that really local education or an elimination of distance?

Also, local test centers with ID verification increase confidence in any certification.

BTW, if I had a local option for the same content, I'd take it. On the theory that I could visit the campus, if I had to.

Whatever the practical matters that influence this, there is something of a trend to "localism" generally, a pulling together towards smaller centers, and away from the wide-wide world. It's minor, and probably a simple counter-reaction to Globalism. I think people are also tempering the wide-wide-world free for all of social media by doing the same thing within social media; more private closed groups, more limited spheres all around.

Right, I'll believe that the day they ban YouTube from their local "classroom."

I have a working theory that the increase in online learning is due, in a larger part than currently recognized, to the availability of certain courses. When the options are 9am-10am or online, people that are actually trying to pay their bills without loans or with less loans can't meet at 9am so they are forced to use the online option, they stay local because they plan to or are taking evening courses. There is a greater discrepancy in time availability of courses - if a college wants to up enrollment- offer more evening/weekend courses when people that can pay can take the courses they'll take them. This is just a theory though - one that happens to apply to me and other anecdotal evidence.

Maybe some of those sampled began by attending classes and later switched to "fully" online later? But stayed enrolled at the same school?

That comports with the antcedotes I've heard. People take video-taped courses when they need to (i.e., some electives aren't taught at the satellite campus, starts too soon after work ends, etc), but the production quality is so low everyone prefers real life.

The quality is extremely high if your local school gives you credit for a Stanford or MIT MOOC in your "local degree."

(In my Stanford MOOC experience they gave me a grade of "A+, with distinction" which gave me good feels about the whole thing.)

What percentage of these classes are being taken to meet certification requirements, e.g. teachers?

We were annexed into a taxing district for a community college. I don't know if it's unique: until recently, you could sign up for 3 hours of classwork and receive cheap health insurance for yourself and your dependents. It may be a roundabout way to pay for the ultimate human right, to health insurance, but apparently enough people "cynically" took advantage of it, that last year they raised the requirement, to six credit hours - of which three may be "distance learning."

Been teaching econ online and f2f for 15 years at the community college. Online students are more about flexible schedules than physical location.
I have surprisingly few students from outside the immediate area.

If it’s all about credentials ... employers don’t know if you took most classes online - they don’t see that on the cv. How much networking does the typical college student get out of going in person?

I'm taking continuing Ed courses right now. One online lecture, one online self directed, 3 qtrs. for each certificate. Each cert cost about $4K with books and all.

I could have learned the same material in half the time from a properly edited $40 book.

The recorded lectures are pointless. You can't ask questions so you might as well just read and skip the hemming and hawing. They're all cut up as well, because they keep changing little sections of the course so they have to retape it. Much cheaper to just write a book, edit it well and adapt it to a text web page.

The live lectures were even worse, with the instructor rambling ad-nauseum about all kinds of irrelevant crap, and many of the students being completely unprepared, so we have to sit and wait for them to hem and haw their way through answers.

Online learning is the best for those students who is doing a job. With online learning they continue their study without any interruption. I know one online learning institute who provides online education as well as home learning facility too. It's name is Global Studies. Global Studies is one of the best education provider in Qatar.

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