institution with affiliated universities from Indiana to Guam and a partnership with
Britain’s well-established Open University. Other consortia do not grant degrees, but
broker distance education courses offered by their member institutions. In early 1999,
the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) listed more than 1,200 courses offered
by 175 colleges and universities, in 16 southern states. In the same period, the California
Virtual University (CVU) brokered 1950 courses from 111 member institutions,
registering 27,300 students.
College and university classrooms initially designed to accommodate the chalk-
and-talk teaching practices are being modified into “smart” classrooms with permanently
fixed video or data projection systems, computers, document cameras, VCRs, network
access, control panels and conventional media technologies such as overhead and slide
projectors (Albright, 1999).
Green (2001) reported that only 15.5 million college students have “round-the-
clock” access to high-speed networks. According to Green, 61.3% of public and 44.0%
of private universities provide their students with free off-campus dial-up service. Data
from the 2001 Campus Computing Survey confirm that students in certain institutions
have access to the “wire” (i.e., are more “wired” than others). Residential students have
“round-the-clock” access to high speed campus networks from their dorms.
Kavanagh (2001) cautions instructors to remember that technology is merely the
medium of delivery, and not an educational end in itself. Courses should be designed to
include appropriate learning strategies and mix of delivery mechanisms to cater for all
learners’ needs, accommodate the requirements of the subject matter, and take into
account the lecturer’s expertise and choices.