Office Hours: Lackluster Online Programs?

My new “Office Hours” column is up at Library Journal:

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/05/opinion/michael-stephens/best-of-both-worlds-office-hours/

It’s a response to this letter last month in LJ by Krystal Taylor, an LIS student at IUPUI Indianapolis:

Something quite disturbing is happening to my LIS program…. As of next semester, the program is going almost exclusively to online courses. Due to low enrollment of our courses on campus, the school has decided to move online in an attempt to keep the program alive. I understand this need, but at what cost will this be to the library and information science field?

From the column:

Taylor writes, “Having taken both types of courses, I am convinced that face-to-face [F2F] courses are the better option.” I might argue the tide is turning on that sentiment. In 2011, I wrote “Online LIS Education or Not”on the choices between F2F and online programs. In just a few short months we’ve seen the announcement of a new online library management degree at the University of Southern California and now the evolution of the IU program to mostly online classes. Frankly, a brick-and-mortar LIS school without a fully online option may become a quaint reminder of days gone by in the next decade. With this shift comes a few important considerations for the various stakeholders: students, faculty, hiring librarians, and accrediting bodies.

 

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One thought on “Office Hours: Lackluster Online Programs?”

  1. In my experience, if your online courses are poorly done, that’s a function of the instructor, not the format.

    My LIS program was completed 100% online, and I had good courses and bad courses. I had some that were not particularly interactive and dry as dust. I had some that had great interaction between the students and instructor, and were excellent. I’ve had the same variety of experience, for that matter, in in-person courses.

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