Moltz, D. (2009) In the midnight hour Inside Higher Education, December 9
This article describes midnight courses for welders at an Oregon community college. Although not strictly about e-learning, the article reflects capacity problems in colleges due to the recession, which is driving unemployed workers into re-training – the same pressures that are leading to increased demand for online courses.
I have tremendous sympathy for these students. Before I got to go to university as a ‘mature’ student, I worked for two years after finishing high school. I had to take evening classes after a day’s work to qualify, which I found desperately tiring, but that was nothing compared to my uncle, who after a 12 hour shift down a coal mine, went to evening classes for six years to become qualified as an electrical engineer.
My point here is that this is where I still believe e-learning has most value and potential: providing flexible learning for lifelong learners. And in economically advanced countries, this is where the growth of the post-secondary education market will be over the next 20 years.