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七郎 / Seven Liu

科学与艺术,恰如人生中的红颜知己。 本博内容保留所有权利.

 
 
 

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英文快译:网络学位  

2011-02-03 19:23:38|  分类: 读点英文 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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原文:http://education.newsweek.com/2010/09/12/the-sound-of-one-hand-clicking.html

 

The WiFi Degree

网络学位

 

by Karen Breslau  August 12, 2009

作者 凯伦·布莱斯劳 2009-08-29

 

Online schools are booming, thanks to their convenience, low cost, and improved quality.

因为方便、低成本还有大大改善了的质量,在线网校学校的发展正欣欣向荣。

 

Luis Figueroa lives down the street from UC Merced, the newest campus in the University of California system. So it's not surprising that the 21-year-old studies from the comfort of his own home. But he's not enrolled at Merced: from his living-room computer, Figueroa is earning his bachelor's degree in business administration at Columbia College in Missouri, some 2,000 miles away. At $630 per course—about $1,800 per semester—his online degree will cost far less than even in-state tuition at UC. Not only that, Figueroa is able to continue working full time in a management-training job with AT&T in Merced, a job he feels lucky to have in the current economic climate. "Once I realized I had time constraints, I knew the traditional classroom wouldn't work," he says. "Courses online are open 24 hours a day, and I'm able to go there any time I want."

路易斯·菲格鲁亚住在加利福尼亚大学系统的最新校园——默塞德校区的街边。一个21岁的年轻人在自己舒适的家里学习,这本来没什么奇怪的。奇怪的是,他并没有在默塞德校区上学,通过起居室里的电脑,菲格鲁亚正在攻读哥伦比亚大学的商业管理学士学位,而哥伦比亚大学位于2000英里以外的密苏里州。每门功课收费630美元,平均每学期的学费大约是1800美元,这样一来其在线获得学位的成本就远远低于加利福尼亚大学的州内学费(美国的大学一般都有给本州内学生的优惠政策)。不仅如此,菲格鲁亚还能够在默塞德的AT&T继续做一份全职的实习管理工作,这在当前的经济形势下是非常幸运的。“当了解到时间方面的限制,就没法去传统的教室了,”他说,“而在线课程是24小时开放的,我想什么时候去就可以什么时候去。”

 

That convenience is one of the main reasons nearly 4 million American students took at least one online course in the 2007–08 school year, according to a study by the Sloan Foundation. The same study found that online enrollment is growing at a rate more than 10 times that of the higher-education population at large—12.9 percent vs. 1.2 percent for traditional "in seat" students. Nowhere is the growth faster than among younger students like Figueroa who are opting for online learning, even when the traditional classroom is—in his case—right outside the front door. "This is a generation that lives online," says Vicky Phillips, founder and CEO of Geteducated.com, a service that ranks online learning institutions." Everything is instant, accelerated, and accessible, and they expect their education to be that way too. For them there is no clear line between the virtual world and the actual world."

根据斯隆基金会的一个研究,2007~08学年中,近400万的美国学生每人至少选择了一门在线课程,其方便性是主要原因之一。该研究还发现在线注册的增长率超过传统教室上课的学生十倍以上,前者增长了12.9%,而后者仅为1.2%。维克利·菲利普斯是网络教育排名网站Geteducated.com的创始人和CEO,他说,“年轻学生中像菲格鲁亚那样选择在线学习的人数正增长最快,即使在菲格鲁亚的案例中,传统的课堂就在他的家门口。”年轻人希望任何事情都能够方便快捷、触手可及,当然对于教育的期望也是一样。对于他们来说,虚拟世界和现实世界之间并没有明显的界线。

 

Once targeted at older, working adults, distance learning has moved into the education mainstream at stunning speed over the past couple of years, as technology allows ever-richer, more-interactive learning experiences online—and as college costs continue to rise and classrooms are packed to capacity. For traditional brick-and-mortar institutions, that has meant a scramble to enter a lucrative market that used to be the exclusive territory of for-profit institutions such as the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University (which, like NEWSWEEK, is owned by The Washington Post Company). Established brand-name educators—including Stanford, Cornell, Penn State, and MIT, which has placed its entire curriculum online through its OpenCourseWare program—now offer extensive online learning options and are competing with the for-profits for students. "The stigma is gone," says Phillips. "Online learning has reached mass cultural acceptance. It's no longer the ugly stepsister of the higher-education world."

因为技术提供了更加丰富多彩和更具互动体验的学习环境,也因为传统大学的学费持续升高和教室人满为患,当面向年龄较大的、正在工作的成年人的远程学习已在最近几年中以惊人的速度并入了教育的主流。对于传统的教育体系来说,这意味着之前是凤凰城大学和卡普兰大学等盈利机构的专属领地(类似于新闻周刊为华盛顿邮报公司所有),而现在则慢慢变成了一个有利可图的市场。各名牌教育机构——包括斯坦福大学、康奈尔大学、宾夕法尼亚大学以及麻省理工学院,都通过其“开放课件计划”将全部课程放在网上,为学生提供了大量的与营利性机构竞争的在线学习选项。菲利普斯说:“在线学习已被正名,并为大众文化所接受,而之前则被认为是高等教育世界的丑陋的同父异母姐妹”

 

Online offerings these days can sometimes even surpass the classroom experience. Aaron Walsh, a professor at Boston College and a former videogame designer, has pioneered Immersive Education, a method of teaching through virtual worlds. Meeting in Second Life instead of a physical classroom, says Walsh, allows for some feats that gravity renders impossible, like having art-history students fly to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or biology majors to take a Magic School bus–like trip through the human body. Using videos, podcasts, live chats, Webcams, and wikis, educators increasingly see online learning as a way to engage the videogame generation with pedagogy that feels more like entertainment than drudgery. Students in the new homeland-security master's degree program at the University of Connecticut this fall, for example, will have coursework that resembles Grand Theft Auto: dwelling in a cybercity called San Luis Rey plagued with suicide bombers, biochemical attacks, and other disasters. At Arizona State, students in an Introduction to Parenting class raise a "virtual child." They have to post the progress of their online charge through all the phases of childhood. "The classes are so much more interactive, and I can log on when I'm most ready to learn," says Jacquelyn Halloran, a junior majoring in family and human development at ASU. "I like that so much better than having to rush to class or sit through a lecture that's boring."

今天,在线学习有时候甚至能提供优于课堂的体验。前视频游戏设计师、波斯顿大学教授亚伦·沃尔什倡导称为“沉浸式教育”的一种通过虚拟世界进行的教学方法。 在“第二人生”里而不是在实际的教室里集合,沃尔什说,可以实现一些现实世界中无法实现的特技,比如让学习艺术历史的学生飞到(罗马梵蒂冈的)西斯廷教堂的天花板上,或者让主修生物专业的学生乘坐大巴进行一次穿越人体的奇妙旅行。使用视频、播客、即时聊天,网络摄像机和维基百科等手段,教育者渐渐发现在线学习可以“视频游戏的一代”吸引过来,其教学法是使得学习更像娱乐而不是一项苦差事。例如,今年秋天,康涅狄格大学安保专业的研究生们,将在类似“侠盗猎车手”游戏的“新国家”里上课:“住”在充斥着自杀性炸弹、生化武器攻击和其他灾难的网络虚拟城市“圣路易斯雷伊”中。在亚利桑那州,上“养育子女介绍”课程的学生们要养育一个“虚拟孩子”,他们必须在网络上公布养育“虚拟孩子”的进度以及每个阶段的费用。“课程的交互性非常强,我可以在准备充分后登录他。”亚利桑那州立大学“家庭和人力发展”专业的初级专业学生杰奎琳·哈罗兰说,“和不得不冲进教室或坐着听一个无聊的讲座比起来,我当然更喜欢它。”

 

As the largest generation since the baby boom attends college at a time of shrinking budgets and soaring costs, many educators believe that online learning holds the greatest promise for expanding the capacity of the U.S. higher-education system. And digital classrooms will surely play an important role in helping the Obama administration pursue its goal of raising the percentage of college graduates in the U.S. to first in the world by 2020 (at least 10 other countries now stand in the way). The surge in students with jobs and families, and those in the military, has also caused online enrollments to soar. Sarah Gerke, an Army private stationed in Iraq, keeps up with her coursework at Columbia College in Missouri, despite the occasional bombing. "Even if I could attend in person," she writes in an e-mail from Camp Liberty, "I think I would stick with online classes for the convenience."

在这样一个预算紧缩、成本猛增的时代,伴随着婴儿潮以来的最多的一代人进入大学, 很多教育工作者相信,在线学习是提高美国高等教育体系能力的最大希望所在。数字化教室将帮助奥巴马实现“2020年美国高等教育毕业人口比例全球第一”的目标中起到重要作用(目前至少有10个国家排名超过美国)。随着学生、工作、家庭以及部队人数的激增,导致在在线注册学习人数居高不下。尽管不时的发生爆炸,派驻伊拉克的列兵莎拉·盖尔克仍然在继续学习密苏里州哥伦比亚大学的课程。她在营地自由活动期间写的邮件中说:“即使可以亲自到校学习,我想我还是会因其便利性而继续选择在线课程。”

 

For public institutions such as the University of Michigan and the University of Massachusetts, online learning not only extends their brand, it's a cost-effective way to serve more students. At UMassOnline, enrollment among students under the age of 25 has increased 91 percent over the past three years. At Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, N.J., that growth rate over the same period is more than 100 percent. "The best way to lower the cost of higher education is to graduate on time," says UMass president Jack Wilson. "More and more we see students using online learning as an accelerator, a way to move more quickly through their undergraduate program."

对于密歇根大学和麻州大学等公立教育机构来说,在线学习不仅传播了它们的品牌,而且成为一种符合成本效益并能服务更多学生的方法。在过去三年里,麻大在线(UMassONline)25岁以下的注册学生增加了91%。在位于新泽西州特伦顿的托马斯爱迪生州立学院,同期的增长率则超过了100%。“降低高等教育成本的最好办法是准时毕业,”麻州大学校长杰克·威尔逊说,“我们看到越来越多的学生把在线学习当作一种加速器使用,成为一种帮助他们更快完成本科课程的一种方法。”

 

Another important factor that has closed the prestige gap is the tight integration of online programs into their host institutions. When UMass launched UMassOnline in 2001, it used the same admission standards, the same faculty, the same curricula—and it awarded students degrees indistinguishable from those given to campus-going counterparts. The vision of UMassOnline as a seamless division of the university worked because "it fit with the culture of the institution," says Wilson, who was the CEO of UMassOnline until 2003, when he became the president of UMass. The venture has also been extremely profitable—UMassOnline earned $46.8 million in 2008.

导致信誉差距消失的另一个重要因素是在线课程和其所有机构教学体系的紧密集成,当麻州大学在2001年启动麻大在线(UMassONline)时,使用了相同的入学标准、相同的院系设置和相同的课程表,而且,授予在线学生的学位和在校学生所取得的学位是无法区分的。麻大在线的愿景是使自己成为麻州大学有机整体的一部分,因为“它符合制度和理念的要求,”麻大在线的CEO,并于2003年成为麻州大学校长的威尔逊说。当然,作为生意也非常赚钱,2008年,麻大在线赚了四千六百八十万元。

 

Despite the popularity of online learning, there are shortcomings. Students may save money and time, but they give up college social life. Chat boards are hardly a substitute for the camaraderie of the dorm—or the richness of cultural life on campus. And while it's easy to move ahead in an online course, there's no one looking over your shoulder in a virtual classroom. "You have to be good at planning your time," says ASU's Holleran. "If you don't you're going to fall behind." Then again, help is only an e-mail away.

尽管在线学医非常流行,还是存在一些缺点。虽然学生们可以节省时间和金钱,但同时也放弃了大学生活,聊天留言板很难代替同一宿舍的友情以及丰富多彩的校园文化生活。虽然通过在线课程取得进步很容易,但虚拟教室里找不到越过你肩膀的目光。“你必须善于规划你的时间,”亚利桑那州立大学霍勒伦说,“否则你就会落后。” 另外,一封来自远方的邮件是你能得到的仅有的帮助。

 

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