Andrew Curran Wesleyan professor is someone who I have known and respected for many years now, ever since we met back in university. We both grew up in New Haven, Hartford and attended the local university together. These days our lives have changed somewhat but we do still keep in touch with the odd email here and there. I wanted to write a piece on the rise of people using online education and I could think of nobody better to comment than by good friend and university professor Mr. Curran, and here is what he has to say on the matter.
There is common complaint about the failures of an online education but Andrew understands that this method of educating people does certainly have its benefits. He spoke to me at length about the ease of access which students who study online will have, and that this can greatly help with the costs that are often attached to university life such as tuition fees and boarding. Furthermore Andrew was keen to stress how convenient online education can be for parents or adults who lead busy lives and simply cannot attend a school or education institution.
Whilst Mr. Curran was certainly keen to express some of the benefits which studying online has, it is his belief that it can never really take the place of traditional education. He gave the example of a law student who could potentially study online and how in doing so they would never be able to understand what a court case would actually look like after a lawsuit, these are things which you cannot recreate in the digital world. Another reason why Andrew says that online education will never lead the way is because there is far too much emphasis on autonomy and students need to be incredibly disciplined if they are to get the most out of their education. As he says, even at university when we give students more free license, there are many who need someone to encourage and inspire them constantly in order to get the best from them, something which would be difficult to do via online education.
In conclusion the professor spoke at length about how many online education institutes have been started in recent years as some kind of retaliation to the costs and the syllabus of a traditional education. Whilst he concedes that this should encourage educational institutes to improve the way in which they teach, it isn’t something that he believes is necessary for students and he believes that those who are educated online will be far behind someone who has studied in high school and college, when the time comes to centre the real world. For adults and those in full time work, he believes that this is a great way to teach people new skills and knowledge but that it will never overtake the brick and mortar education system which we currently depend upon.