It’s all for the best, though, as the often-stigmatized world of online education often goes misunderstood — or ignored. Though students are signing up for online programs in large numbers, colleges don’t often know how weave them into their campus fabric and they’re left to flounder.
The success stories are relative and disparate. Carnegie Mellon’s online courses will soon run in 25 community colleges. Arizona’s Rio Salado College has a program that can tell with 70 percent accuracy on the eighth day of a course whether or not a student is likely to finish. The rapidly growing University of Central Florida already has more than 20,000 online classes.