Update (2:15 pm): Kassab posted a follow-up that included a discussion with SUS Chancellor Frank Brogan. Brogan seems to recognize the problems with online science instruction. But he cites “some of the work being done by MIT and other top-notch schools that have experimented with online learning in math and science.” Just to be clear, this is the way MIT teaches physics to its own students – the same way that we do in FSU’s Studio Physics Program.
From Beth Kassab’s column in this morning’s Orlando Sentinel, which starts by describing the problems in teaching science via virtual learning:
The demand for online classes on some campuses is growing because of the scheduling flexibility it gives students.
At UCF, for example, nearly 60 percent of the student body will be enrolled in at least one online course this fall, including classes that have both online and face-to-face components. That’s up from about 36 percent five years ago.
[Florida House-speaker Designate] Weatherford, who was home-schooled in elementary school and attended public and private schools during sixth through 12th grade, said it’s that demand he wants to tap into. He conceded that an exclusively online university may not be the answer.
“I’m not saying online learning is going to solve all the problems of the world,” he said.
He says he’s just looking for a way to help the estimated 1 million Floridians with some level of college credit complete their degrees and make the workforce more appealing.
[Note: Kassab’s column begins with the words “Paul Cottle’s physics classes at Florida State University.” You know this can’t be good. See more on what I think high quality virtual learning in physics might look like here.]