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The current model of higher education was several centuries in the making. That leaves colleges adapting to online learning, a viable option for only about a decade, with a monumental game of catch-up.
As online courses’ popularity continues to rise, many administrators are struggling with a steep learning curve, one whose ultimate end point is far from being determined. Questions such as how such courses should be taught (by adjuncts or full-time faculty?) often depend on institutions’ missions (expand access or generate extra revenue?) and can lead to clashes and tensions between proponents of online learning and those who remain wedded to the traditional classroom.