On a recent morning, as [U. of Florida student Anish] Patel’s two roommates slept with covers pulled tightly over their heads, he sat at his desk taking notes on Prof. Mark Rush’s explanation of the term “perfect competition…”
The University of Florida broadcasts and archives Dr. Rush’s lectures less for the convenience of sleepy students like Mr. Patel than for a simple principle of economics: 1,500 undergraduates are enrolled and no lecture hall could possibly hold them.
Dozens of popular courses in psychology, statistics, biology and other fields are also offered primarily online. Students on this scenic campus of stately oaks rarely meet classmates in these courses.
Online education is best known for serving older, nontraditional students who can not travel to colleges because of jobs and family. But the same technologies of “distance learning” are now finding their way onto brick-and-mortar campuses, especially public institutions hit hard by declining state funds…
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