Foundations of Science

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 373–376 | Cite as

Cause for Optimism: Engaging in a Vital Conversation About Online Learning

  • Ellen RoseEmail author


This commentary responds to the suggestion that we can humanize online university education through the design decisions we make about it. It offers several reasons why the suggestion may be unrealistic, given that choice in online course design is increasingly narrowed by the prevalence of relatively powerless part-time instructors, student preference for convenient online offerings, and the use of learning management systems. However, if our design decisions are constrained, it becomes all the more important that we engage in critical conversations about what we gain and lose when technology is used to automate or mediate university education.


Online learning E-learning Educational technology University education 


  1. Gramsci, A., 1973. Letters from prison (L. Lawner, Trans.). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

Personalised recommendations