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 Response Page - Clinefelter  Interview -      

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
David Clinefelter Interview of

The Questions:

1.  21.2% Yes; 78.8% No.   Have you taken an online education course yourself?

2.  42.4% Yes;  57.6% No.   Are  members of your family (spouse, siblings, children, grandchildren) taking online courses this year?

3.  _4.0 average response_____On a scale of (0) most disagreement , to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, please indicate how strongly you share a view that traditional colleges and universities serve a different purpose and need not fear competition from online institutions.

4.  _7.2 average response_____ On a scale of (0) most disagreement , to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, please indicate how strongly you share a view that online education will revolutionize education.

5.  _4.7 average response_____ On a scale of  (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, please indicate how strongly you share a view that Minnesota should establish a state-run public online university.

6.  Comments? __________________________________________________ 

Bert Press (no) (no) (5) (2) (0)

Dewayne Dill (yes) (yes) (2.5) (5) (0)

Question 3:  There is considerable overlap between online and traditional institutions. However, they do differ in significant ways, so each over time will concede market share to students in their sweet spot.

Question 4: Revolutionize is too strong a word. People will continue to learn through a variety of venues.

Question 5:  Education will eventually be free. There is no point in having states compete.

Carol Becker (yes) (yes) (0) (10) (10)

Question 5: I think that all schools are going to need to offer their content on-line. I think that on-line learning provides such an improvement for the student in terms of time and convenience that bricks and mortar schools will have a hard time competing. Also, the cost of education continues to increase. Fewer students can afford to go to school full time and take on huge debt loads that don't pay off from a cost-benefit perspective. More students will need to work full time and go to school, which makes on-line courses even more attractive. A lot of bricks and mortar schools are in denial about how much of a radical shift this is in education.

Fred Senn (yes) (no) (0) (10) (5)

I think "Blended" higher ed is inevitable if not already an unrecognized reality.

Mike Weber (no) (yes) (2.5) (7.5) (7.5)

Question 4:  Reading this interview has changed my mind on this question.

Question 5: Our university system needs to utilize the technology infrastructure all ready in place then determine which courses are most suitable for on-line credit. Online courses they do offer must give credits that are universally transferable to all other schools within our state system.

Jenny Dauk (no) (no) (7.5) (5) (2.5)

Question 5: Some of the arguments for on-line learning are hard to accept. Clinefelter sited biases against gender and race go away. Probably this would be better addressed face to face in a classroom rather than hiding behind a computer screen. The argument that students can learn at their own pace is facetious...there are still mandatory time lines that need to be adhered to. Honestly it scares me to think that education is promoting a society that doesn't directly interact with each other. Maybe more attention should be paid to the study that suggested that hybrid courses elicit more participation. I don't believe you can leave out the social, face-to-face component of learning and expect great results.

Peter Hennessey (no)(yes) (5) (2.5) (2.5)

This is a difficult area to comment on. The bottom line is that learning takes place in an individual's head -- not in a classroom, not on campus, not on line -- and whether any learning takes place is totally up to the individual student. Some respond to the personal interaction between the student and the teacher and a lab partner. Some need to go off line and study (books, notes, web sites, etc.) or do the lab work by themselves. You can't just say, choose one or the other. It greatly depends on the subject matter, too. On-line is just another form, just another resource, like live lectures, taped lectures, computer-aided ed, correspondence courses, labs and libraries.
The other problem is accreditation; how do we make sure a school is actually offering quality material presented by quality teachers? This is a problem whether the school is public or private, for profit or not, campus or on-line.

The last problem is whether the State has any business subsidizing or actually running schools, campus or on- line.

 Kim Salisbury (no) (no) (2.5) (7.5) (5)

Alan Miller (no) (yes) (1) (1) (0)

Donald H. Anderson (no) (no) (4) (7) (8)

Kent Eklund (no) (yes) (3) (7) (3)

On-line will continue to be another niche in higher education. The existing higher education institutions are already adapting to on-line education -- I don't think another university is needed for on-line education.

Lyall Schwarzkopf (no) (no) (5) (7) (8)

Charles Lutz (no) (no) (5) (5) (7)

Carolyn Ring (no) (yes) (8) (8) (5)

Paul Hauge (no) (yes) (6) (7) (3)

Tom Swain (no) (no) (3) (6) (5)

Dennis Fink (no) (no) (9) (8) (5)

There are two questions in Question 3 and the two do not necessarily share a common answer. Traditional College Campus Life creates its own unique educational experience separate from the classroom.  That is not available online but may not be necessary for non-traditional students.  I think the threat here is how will the definition of a non-traditional student change as online course work becomes more readily available.

Tom Spitznagle (yes) (no) (5) (8) (4)

Best left to the private sector as opposed to each state setting up an online U since private sector can benefit from economies of scale and the competition would help ensure a strong product.  If individual states do this there would be a lot of redundancy and government costs.  Could be offset by new revenues though.  The market will decide.

Anonymous (no) (no) (7.5) (7.5) (5)

John Sievert (no) (yes) (2.5) (7.5) (10)

I'd see this as a way to offer CIS courses (College in the Schools) to outstate and schools that are not in proximity to a state university. For example, my children go to Stillwater schools. I know of several kids that take a foreign language not offered at ISD834 schools at the University (specifically, Chinese). In order to do this because of reasons of proximity, these children essentially wind up taking an entire college curriculum that the district pays for (i.e. expensive). Conversely, students that could take such courses also don't because of proximity. Now apply these same constraints to someone in farm country in so. MN. They are considerably at a deficit to get such advance learning and training because of their location. The #1 issue in our quality of life depends on a highly educated work force. We can't afford to lose a single gifted student or have them not operate at peak performance because of issues like proximity and accessibility. The internet and on line education could be a fundamental way of leveling this. As well, consider ISD834 schools again. Our German and French programs are suffering dwindling enrollment. That is a capability that ISD834 need not lose. However, if ISD834 could offer on line courses in these subject to other schools in the state that would permit the resource to be paid for and to be productive/cost effective. This is a subject I'm passionate about and could talk/write on for hours. I'd recommend that the Clay Christensen book "Disrupting Class" be studied in the context of this talk.

Ellen Brown (no) (yes) (0) (10) (5)

Question 1:  Would like to but I don't have the discipline to schedule the time to do so like I would if I were going to a traditional class.

Question 2: One niece is working on a degree from U of Phoenix.

Question 3: I do think they serve a somewhat different purpose but am not sure that is appreciated by the 'customer' and thus they should definitely fear the competition.

Question 5: Interesting idea. I think I would prefer this being one of the MnSCU schools than a stand-alone.

Robert J. Brown (no) (yes) (2.5) (7.5) (5)

Question 3: The competition is good - it should force the traditional schools to be more effective and efficient

Question 5: I think most of the existing schools are doing more on line or in the mixed-mode delivery system. We already have too many institutions in the state and creating the bureaucracy for another on is not the best idea.

Anonymous (yes) (yes) (7.5) (7.5) (10)

Ken Smart (no)(no) (5) (7.5) (5)

Question 5: I am not sure this is even relevant. If government run online universities do not materialize, I think private companies will fill the gap. If Minnesota creates an online university, would it charge in state and out state tuition? And does it matter? Also, would an online university require a taxpayer subsidy? Lots of questions. I agree that if Minnesota chose to create an online university, it could be a formidable competitor with strong brand power.

Mina Harrigan (no) (no) (2.5) (7.5) (2.5)

Question 3: Competition for traditional universities is not a negative thing---although they probably perceive it that way.

Question 5: I agree that the state should be in this business. But we don't need a completely separate entity from the current system.

Glenn Dorfman (no) (no) (2.5) (7.5) (5)

Question 3: f convenience, cost and getting a degree are most important to an individual student, than on-line education is a real threat to more traditional colleges and universities. If getting a well-rounded liberal arts education and learning the social skills of early adulthood are important than traditional colleges and universities may be a better choice.

Question 4: It will have significant impacts on education both positive and negative.

Question 5: The state needs to decide which of the services it provides is most important, of highest priority to its future and fund them fully. This thinking requires the political will to shut down less important public services in order to fully fund the priorities without new money. Additionally, if the private sector is responding to the public demand for on-line education, I see no need for the state to duplicate these efforts.

David Broden (no) (no) (0) (10) (10)

Question 3: All education types must adapt to change and the on-line capability must be a core to that change for all colleges and universities. Sharing of resources will become more and more critical and useful to obtain the need scope and content of each course.

Question 4: On-Line will revolutionize education but will only be a component of the revolution. Like most change agent innovations it is important not to lock into one technique only a balance of new with the old and openness or further new must be well integrated to achieve the continuing quality and capability of all education systems.

Question 5: The key word here is a state run public on line vs. a component of existing structure--this needs to be well examined and addressed. The public should not fear the independent systems whether private, for profit or whatever. Just plain old competition is really the need. The state of Mn governing boards for both the U and MnScu must address how to do this--both do not need independent on-line and thus a great opportunity to coordinate and perhaps even provide framework for K-12 on-line.

Al Quie (no) (no) (3) (10) (0)

David Thul (yes) (no) (10) (10) (10)

Question 3: Online colleges fulfill a need, but cannot compete with the total education experience that a bricks and mortar college can offer.

Question 5: Even for a traditional college student, many courses could be offered online. A state run online college that could work with and collaborate with the rest of the state colleges could be very beneficial to students and to the state.

Dale Fairbanks (yes) (no) (10) (10) (2.5)

Bill Kuisle (no) (yes (1) (5) (0)

David Durenberger (no) (yes) (0) (8) (5)

He argues for UMN which carries cachet into the on-line marketplace....I have little confidence UMN can pull this off....I might suggest the legislature be asked to create a chartered university with a President and board chair appointed by the Governor with consent of Senate and they select additional directors - one from each congressional district and seven additional, serving two, three-year terms blah blah

Shirley Heaton (no) (no) (5)(10) (1)

Let's face it. We're moving into a new age in educating ourselves, off-springs and everyone else, so I say let's just relax and get on with the program ahead of us.



The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay, Marianne Curry, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon, Joe Mansky, John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and Wayne Popham 

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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