Higher Education in the Digital Age

By William G. Bowen; Kelly A. Lack | Go to book overview

Discussion by Daphne Koller

GOOD MORNING. That will be a very tough act to follow. I am going to try to respond to a few, not all, of Professor Delbanco’s points in the comments that I will make, and hopefully, we will tackle some of the rest in the discussion. Let me begin at a very similar point to Professor Delbanco’s talk. Professor Bowen started his second talk saying that he was initially skeptical about the value of online learning but has come to believe that perhaps now is the time when this technology will actually come to fruition and help us come up with a transformed educational experience. A question that I get asked often is what is it that makes this different from the multiple previous attempts, the multiple notorious failures—such as the Fathom project— that did not succeed in transforming the shape of education. Here we can also include the TV-based efforts, which I was not even aware of because they long predate me. There are a lot of little pieces which I’ll come to in a moment, but if you had to put your finger on one thing, it is the recognition that this new form of teaching is really a new educational paradigm. That is, it is not and should not be taking in-class instruction and trying to replicate it in an online medium.

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