Cover image for A classroom of one : how online learning is changing our schools and colleges
A classroom of one : how online learning is changing our schools and colleges
Maeroff, Gene I.
Personal Author:
First Palgrave Macmillan paperback edition (May 2004).
Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
Physical Description:
xiv, 309 pages ; 21 cm
An invitation to a revolution -- Delivering the goods -- The nature of interaction -- Facilitating the conversation -- Adapting to the new -- Responsibility for learning -- The business of online education -- Focusing e-learning on careers -- But is it legitimate? -- Controlling the process -- In school, on campus -- Serving those least served -- Redefining the educational institution -- Online courses across the gamut -- Educational purposes in the cyber era.
Format :


Call Number
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Item Holds
LC5803.C65 M34 2003C Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This is Gene Maeroff's "report from the front" on the short history and status of online learning in the United States and around the world. Maeroff is a reporter who takes you to the schools from Penn State's World Campus to the Florida Virtual School to the newly emerging online learning initiatives in Afghanistan. His journey ultimately provides a snapshot of the way in which technology is changing the minds of people with regard to the nature of higher education. He looks at the method ofelectronic delivery, the quality of the information being delivered and quality of interaction it engenders. He looks at the way learners are adapting to this new technology and how much responsibility is put on the student's shoulders. Finally, and maybe tellingly, he looks at the business of online learning.

Author Notes

Gene I. Maeroff is director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Most of the recent flood of books about online learning can be divided into pro (Internet-based education will replace overpriced, rigid, traditional institutions and provide a profoundly better product) and con (online learning is a fringe educational activity pushed by untrustworthy for-profit dot-coms). Maeroff, the author of 11 books over the past 27 years commenting on education, has steered a prudent middle course. He sees online education as an important and growing part of traditional instruction, a tool that will help solve many existing problems. His clear account of those problems helps explain the appeal of the Internet. But he also sees a central role for traditional face-to-face instruction in physical classrooms for the foreseeable future. The line between classroom and Internet instruction will blur as traditional courses add online content and online courses take more responsibility, he says. Internet use will be heaviest for students who are not well served by bricks-and-mortar instruction. The author covers Internet use from elementary school through college and post-college education, home schooling, legal issues, accreditation, professional certification and international courses-all the while describing the subject's history, current state and potential future. His broad knowledge and irreverent style make the dense material more than readable, but this is still a weighty professional book with comprehensive coverage backed by hundreds of interviews and citations. Regrettably, the book fails to discuss the technology itself or the economics behind it. Still, it's the best general work on the subject for educators and administrators. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Long before the Internet or even the computer, there was distance learning, known in the mid-19th century as correspondence courses. The latter half of the 20th century saw the advent of telenet classes, where students met at various sites but were connected to others, including the instructor, by telephone. Video conferencing soon followed. The Internet has taken distance learning to another level. Maeroff (Altered Destinies) chronicles this innovation, claiming that online learning isn't as different from traditional classes as some may think. There are still instructors and textbooks, and there is still interaction between student and instructor and among students in the same class; students still submit papers and take exams in the form of open-book tests. The author cautions, though, that online education shouldn't be seen as the cure for higher education's ills or as the ultimate in educational technology. Problems exist in this new format: balancing the needs of students and faculty can be tricky, and not all subjects work as online courses. But Maeroff's argument that such courses can provide educational opportunities where none previously existed is convincing, and he offers balanced insight into the workings of this new way of learning. Both academic and public libraries will find this book a welcome addition to their collections.-Terry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Maeroff provides a descriptive survey of online learning programs and issues involved in running them, including new teaching-learning processes, faculty development, student populations, the economics of online delivery, academic honesty, and policy questions. The emphasis is on higher education, but K-12 is included as well. He believes classroom and online learning will coexist; indeed he expects hybrid programs using classrooms, the Internet, video, and other media to dominate education. His program examples are varied, but his criteria for choosing them are not apparent; it is difficult to know how representative they are. Maeroff emphasizes the large role of online learning in business and professional studies, but overlooks the creative courses in liberal arts offered in online degree programs. The book's title is also puzzling, since Maeroff rightly emphasizes the prevalence of interaction in online courses, thus demonstrating that the virtual classroom is well populated. Most valuable is his attention to issues that face institutional leaders and public policy developers: What is our purpose? How does online education fit? What is a teacher? What is a library? What is an institution? How can we maximize resources? The book offers useful contributions to such discussions. ^BSumming Up: General readers, upper-division undergraduates, and professionals. R. W. Rohfeld SUNY Empire State College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1. An Invitation to a Revolutionp. 1
2. Delivering the Goodsp. 20
3. The Nature of Interactionp. 40
4. Facilitating the Conversationp. 59
5. Adapting to the Newp. 75
6. Responsibility for Learningp. 95
7. The Business of Online Educationp. 113
8. Focusing E-Learning on Careersp. 136
9. But Is It Legitimate?p. 157
10. Controlling the Processp. 174
11. In School, on Campusp. 195
12. Serving Those Least Servedp. 212
13. Redefining the Educational Institutionp. 228
14. Online Courses across the Gamutp. 250
15. Educational Purposes in the Cyber Erap. 268
Epiloguep. 284
Notesp. 287
Bibliographyp. 296
Indexp. 303