Former Director of California State Accreditation Body
John H. Peterson
A LOOK AT BABEL UNIVERSITY ONLINE EDUCATION
As we take a look at online education we need to consider where we have
been, where are we now, and where we are going.. The journey from residence
education to our current trend for online education has actually moved
very rapidly. Residence or classroom education proved to be limited to
those areas where brick and mortar schools were convenient for students
living in large population areas. About 100 years ago in the U.S. correspondence
courses were made available to students living far away from schools or
colleges. These courses were conducted through the mail which proved to
be slow and with little or no interaction between instructors and students.
Students were to complete one lesson at a time, send it to the correspondence
school for feedback and move on to the next lesson.
Under the guidance of the Distance Education and Training Council ( DETC ) many correspondence schools moved forward to develop new methods of both speeding up the process along with more interaction between students and instructors. With the advent of the computer some of the correspondence schools experimented with online instruction. There were many different approaches as true online instruction evolved into what it is today.
There has been much resistance on the part of the educational community to accept this delivery system. At each step of the way the DETC provided leadership and guidance for schools and colleges to refine online courses and eventually online degree programs with an array of course, program, and degree objectives. Babel University sought and gained accreditation through DETC approved by the U.S.
Department of Education as the ' nationally recognized accrediting agency.
The efforts of Babel University to move into the online delivery system has proven to be an excellent model for numerous other institutions to follow Babel's creative efforts and willingness to invest in new techniques, more learner/instructor interaction, and expanding of course offerings. The leadership shown by Babel administration has capitalized on feedback from students and faculty in providing one of the premier online efforts going on today.
It is interesting to note that the pioneer efforts of institutions such as Babel University have motivated great numbers of colleges and universities throughout the world to develop quality online offerings. The public institutions have been slow to offer online courses. Now in California, specifically, all community colleges, the state universities, and the University of California, are moving ahead to offer not only some courses but full degree programs via online. Much of the development of online courses and degrees has been brought about as tuition costs have risen drastically and public funds have been reduced at all levels and the lack of adequate courses being available for students to move forward at a reasonable pace. Most four-year degree programs are now taking five years to complete. The infusion of online courses has been of great help to students and caused faculty to provide more interaction with students and reducing the time to complete their degrees. As technology continues to improve and provide even greater opportunities for students worldwide, Babel University continues to lead the way to quality up to date offerings that will result in students reaching their educational goals and beyond in the future.