However, let me issue a warning to the business world that is creating these new learning opportunities. It all has to be about more than merely taking money and creating numbers of graduates. Unless the element of human interaction is injected somewhere along the line, I see the value of the on-line educational experience declining. I say this based upon the high quality of my on-line and human interaction experiences at Capella.
During my three residence periods at Capella, I came to meet some really great faculty members, as well as some neat fellow learners. We built an on-line community based upon a combination of Internet communications, personal interactions, and telephonic conversations. It was a valuable learning experience for each of us.
One of the great dangers of the Internet is its impersonal nature. Perhaps that is also why I am starting to question the negative direction that our society is taking. The fellow who sent me the message to tell me I was no longer his instructor shared a story during a follow-up phone call which seems to be symptomatic of what can go wrong in the Internet world.
He happened to pass one of his supervisors in the hallway of their fire station. That supervisor asked him if he had read the email which he had just sent to him. When my associate said that he had not seen the message that supervisor then asked my buddy to get back to him when he did.
Not once did the supervisor allude to the import of that message. He merely told the other man to read it and send him an email with his response. He then walked off leaving my buddy to wonder what that was all about. Was that supervisor so scared of telling a subordinate something that he raced away from a human interaction fearful of what might happen?
In a farewell email from one of my students, the sender covered a critical point that affirms my message to you about human interaction. He noted that he coordinated a program for his state. Here is part of his message to me. "In my program, the state gave me a cell phone so students can reach me. (It is) my personal feeling (that) access