Can Online Education Lower Costs and Improve Quality?

"Inspired by the breakout podcast Serial, four years ago two digital learning leaders at the University of Central Florida created their own podcast—focused on online learning instead of true crime.

It’s called the Teaching Online Podcast, or TOPcast, and co-host Thomas Cavanagh says he is driven by his quest to figure out one of the grand challenges of higher education: how to use technology to raise the quality of instruction while lowering costs. Not everyone thinks that’s possible, of course, and even Cavanagh, vice provost for digital learning at the University of Central Florida, admits that edtech can spark plenty of new ethical challenges along the way.

Each month, he and co-host Kelvin Thompson executive director of the Center for Distributed Learning at UCF, give their analysis of trends in online learning over a cup of fancy coffee—and these days their fans often send them beans to brew and fuel the show.

EdSurge connected with Cavanagh (online of course) to talk about what he has learned from all those podcast chats, and about how his sidegig as a detective novelist shapes his work in campus innovation."

-Jeffrey R. Young