Online Learning Expansion Options

College Junior DeJa-Nique Frierson hates history.

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

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

“I’m able to work at my own pace,” said Frierson.

4 out of 10 college students in Florida have taken at least one class over the internet. Statewide, there are more than 600 degrees offered completely online.

“Florida is actually a national leader in online learning,” said Randy Goin.

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.”

But not all classes work well online.

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.