There are a vast number of possible scenarios for the virtual university, or the Cycademy, which will depend on the interests and skills of teachers and of administrators, on the skills of the students, and, perhaps most importantly, on access issues: students who own their own computers will clearly have an easier time completing and turning in electronic assignments than students that do not.
Claudine Keenan's work on the three main models available to classroom instructors (the traditional, the transitional, and the distance learning model) can also be applied to institutions: most universities clearly parallel the traditional model in which students are, at best, given e-mail addresses, and limited access to computer resources. Others, with more alumni support or other sources of funding, can best be described as transitional - institutions in this category would require use of computer resources in some or all classes, provide e-mail addresses to all faculty, staff, and students, and provide additional resources like web space to members of the community. Finally, some institutions are or will be modeled as a distance learning community.
Two distance learning programs are worth a closer look: Spectrum Virtual University and The Western Governors Association's recent announcement of the Virtual University.
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Last Modified: August 2, 1996
Copyright © 1996 by Keith Dorwick