Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Upward Mobility in the Distance Institution

Hi everyone! Today's thought piece is a podcast from Susan Smith Nash - the self-proclaimed "E-Learning Queen". Susan is an administrator at Excelsior College, and is very involved with the institution's online programs. She is a prolific blogger and podcaster - see her website at:

The original poscast "Upward Mobility in the Distance Institution: Factors Influencing Prestige and Status in Online Programs" was published on 8 January 2006 at:

In the shownotes, Susan wrote:

"The college degree earned either partially or fully online has ascended in stature to solid respectability, as college administrators have come to believe that online courses can be more rigorous than face-to-face. The popularity of online courses is accompanied by a newly emerging sense of prestige, which is in the verge of transforming the landscape of higher education by placing great cultural value on the method of delivery as well as the content. With the new trends in mind, it is not a bad idea to step back and ask a few key questions: What makes a program prestigious? Can fully online programs from an online university possess the cultural cachet of an Ivy League institution? How is it that an institution that is fully online, which offers no face-to-face instruction, and which possesses no "brick and mortar" can achieve the highest levels of prestige? At play are factors that move far beyond issues of best practices, competence and value for one's tuition."

I hope you enjoy this podcast!

Best regards,



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The E-Learning Queen explores all manner of online and distributed training and education, from instructional design to the construction and implementation of entire e-learning solutions. She finds real-world e-learning issues and applications particularly intriguing; in higher education, military, K-12, and corporate and humanitarian / not-for-profit realms.



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