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Online Educational Delivery Models: A Descriptive View

EDUCAUSE Review Volume 47, Number 6, ISSN 1527-6619


Although there has been a long history of distance education, the creation of online education occurred just over a decade and a half ago--a relatively short time in academic terms. Early course delivery via the web had started by 1994, soon followed by a more structured approach using the new category of course management systems. Since that time, online education has slowly but steadily grown in popularity, to the point that in the fall of 2010, almost one-third of U.S. postsecondary students were taking at least one course on line. Fast forward to 2012: a new concept called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is generating widespread interest in higher education circles. Most significantly, it has opened up strategic discussions in higher education cabinets and boardrooms about online education. Stanford, MIT, Harvard, the University of California-Berkeley, and others have thrown their support--in terms of investment, resources, and presidential backing--behind the transformative power of MOOCs and online education. As educators continue to discuss important issues such as access, affordability, and personalized learning in higher education, they would be helped by having a richer understanding of the changes that are already occurring. In this article, the author offers a descriptive view of the emerging landscape of online educational delivery models can lead to a richer understanding for the continuing discussion of issues such as access, affordability, and personalized learning in higher education. (Contains 3 figures and 19 notes.)


Hill, P. (2012). Online Educational Delivery Models: A Descriptive View. EDUCAUSE Review, 47(6), 84-86. Retrieved December 7, 2022 from .

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