I would say that this article’s title should probably more properly have been “At Liberal-Arts Colleges, Debate About Online Courses Is Really About The Fear Of Outsourcing.”
Pedagogy should always drive the “wheres and whys” of how and when technology is used in higher ed. And that is especially true for liberal arts colleges.
I am happy to see Hendrix College and Rollins College (as well as former Hendrix Colleague and now ACS Director of Blended Learning, Amanda Hagood) get a well-deserved nod, for an excellent class, with strong outcomes – and raves from both students and faculty.
And, for the record, these classes are much more than a professor appearing on a projection screen. The TART 120 class between Hendrix and Rollins is an engaging, interactive course where the professor, Eric Zivot, is present and active ten minutes before and after “class time.” I would place Eric’s engagement with his students at Hendrix – while he is quite literally a 1,000 miles away – on par with (and even better than, in a few cases, truthfully) in situ faculty.
Disappointed in the story’s “angle” – but grateful for the mention and recognition for a well-designed, and well-executed, immersive telepresence course.