Thursday, November 03, 2005

Distance Blues

A graduate of an online program published her thoughts about it in Library Journal. She argues that for a variety of reasons its better than a traditional degree program. On the other hand, she reports that there seemed to be quite a bit of skepticism among hiring libraries.

I shoud dig around and see if there are any reports with more actual data comparing online and traditional LIS programs -- after I've had more coffee. Yesterday was one of those days: meetings scattered throughout, followed by an evening shift at reference until 10 p.m. and now I'm trying to wake up for an 8 a.m. meeting... all of which probably betrays my inability to manage my calendar more than anything else.



Laura said...

Thanks Barbara! That does give quite a different perspective to the distance learning option. It'll be interesting to watch what happens to the idea of learning via the internet over years to come, but it certainly seems to be something that is still mostly in the works.

I'm going to keep looking through some other blogs/websites I've been reading to see if I can find other articles about distance learning. I'll let you know what I find!

jen said...

I am a student in a "distance program" however it is not a completely online program. My program is through Emporia State University in Kansas but I live and go to school in Portland, OR. We meet in person for two weekend-intensive sessions for each class. The professors are either local or in most cases flown out from the main campus in Kansas. In between class weekends we comunicate on-line through Blackboard software and email. (I used similar software-WebCT--as a traditional local student too.)

We are trying to come up with a different name for it so (in light of the issues in this article) to distinguish it from online only programs. Any suggestions?

Barbara said...

What an interesting question. I like the fact that Emporia says right up front that the face-to-face component is an important part of their take on the profession and that each student belongs to a cohort that makes the journey together. But how to convey that in a descriptive title?

Community-based program? Blended program? It would be nice to pitch the idea that it's a mix of traditional and non-traditional learning situation, which is pretty characteristic of the profession anyway.

All of this makes me wonder what I would like or would miss about my own library school experience. To be honest, since I was working and it was a pretty large program I didn't get to know my fellow students all that well. With an online component, given my tendency to blather away on the computer when I have free time, it may have actually given me a more "social" experience.