Plato as distance education pioneer: Status and quality threats of Internet education

Gary Klass


Distance learning technology has always posed risks for undermining both established faculty-status prerogatives and the quality of student learning. This paper examines these risks in the context of three historical instances in the development of "distance" education technology: the use of the written word to deliver course materials, the creation of the mass lecture hall, and the recent development of pre-packaged general education Web courses. These "Web courselets" represent the most serious threats to the undergraduate learning experience and may undue many of the recent efforts to reform undergraduate education.

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