Carol Scarafiotti, Martha Cleveland-Innes


Higher education is engulfed in change. At the same time that institutions of higher education are endeavoring to transform themselves by integrating information and communication technologies into curriculum delivery, student profiles are changing. Low income-ethnic populations are among the fastest growing segment of 18–24 year old students; male enrollments are lagging in comparison to female; and the “digital natives” have arrived. Also, as the Internet provides students with access to a myriad of global educational opportunities, the potential for serving virtual foreign students increases. These changes present challenges and opportunities to institutions of higher education, which strive to serve their constituents through fully online and blended learning formats and aspire to extend education to new markets as well. This paper raises implications for online learning related to changing student populations. It presents two fundamentals crucial for ensuring student success, as well as, access in an online environment. Finally, it recommends two change strategies.


Access,Learners,Digital Natives,Institutional Transformation

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