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Online Learning Expansion Options

February 8th, 2013 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Florida leads the nation in online learning offering more degrees over the internet than any other state in the union. As Whitney Ray tells us, education experts met in Tallahassee today to discuss the future of online education.

College Junior DeJa-Nique Frierson hates history.

“I loss interest really, really quickly because I don’t like history,” said DeJa-Nique.

To better suit her learning style she took the course online.

“I’m able to work at my own pace,” said DeJa-Nique.

Four out of 10 college students in Florida have taken at least one class over the internet. Statewide there are more than six-hundred degrees offered completely online.

“Florida is actually a national leader in online learning,” said Randy Goin with the University System’s Board of Governors.

Friday the Florida Higher Education Coordinating Council discussed options for expanding online learning. A previous plan to create a standalone state university for all online classes was scrapped.

“Folks are actually now less interested in the idea of a standalone, brand new, from scratch online university,” said Goin.

The council could recommend appointing one school to take the led in online learning. Education Commissioner Tony Bennett says any type of expansion would save tax dollars.

“This is really an educational economics question in many ways and I think there is probably no better way to do it,” said Bennett.

But not all classes work well online.

Reporter: You took PE online?
DeJa-Nique: Yes
Reporter: How do you do that?
DeJa-Nique: It’s easy.”
Reporter: Did you have to do any exercises?
DeJa-Nique: I didn’t “have to do it.”

Before the state moves forward with the expansion, the legislature and Board of Governors will further study their options. The University System’s Board of Governors will meet in Gainesville next Wednesday to continue the conversation. The issue will also be brought before state lawmakers.

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