CSULB CCPE (College of Continuing & Professional Education) has launched a initiative this term, the Summer Session 2013 Online Course Conversion Project, to develop 25 existing university courses for a 100% online format to be offered during Summer Session ’13. They’ve just notified me that Art110 has been selected as one of the courses. The only commitment is to develop a course during this Spring term, and offer it this summer, though CCPE’s hope is that departments will carry some of the developed online offerings forward into the 2013-14 academic year and beyond.
I’m very excited to be developing this new online version of the course. Online media has terraformed first the newspaper, next the library, and now the university. With newspapers we see that journalism is stronger than ever even though revenue is in turmoil. The New York Times with its print and online editions has today more readers than at any previous time in its history, so the revenue concerns are real, but journalism and readership are strong. I would argue that new media isn’t the death of journalism, but the golden age. The transformation of libraries is less far along and I think they are, in many ways, in an identity crisis at the moment. I also see tremendous support for the institution of the library. We may not know what it is to become, but we know that we value it and want to see it thrive in our new 21st century environment.
As the university embraces the media of our time change is inevitable. We have many concerns today, from 40 years of astronomical cost inflation, to face-to-face education becoming a luxury only for the elite, and many others. Yet I don’t see the growth of online as the “death” of face-to-face education, rather, like a modern-day Clement Greenberg, I see online helping face-to-face discover what it does best and most fundamentally. I believe the 21st century will be a golden age for all education: face-to-face, online, and hybrid. I’m not certain our students of today want it, but I do hope that over time we will also examine credentialing itself, and that tools like the Mozilla Open Badge Framework will allow learners to take a greater role in the development of their personal trajectories through the knowledge century.