Sunday, June 25, 2006

Detroit News :(

I had a bad taste in my mouth after reading an e-learning article from the Washington Post via the Detroit News by a journalist named Lois Romano. My first thought was to try to find out how big a bimbo she is and then flame her.

Instead what I found out was how the Detroit News only printed about 32% of the original article from the Post (435 out of 1430 words). Here's another link to UMassOnline just in case the first one disappears.

Interesting how the Detroit editors decided to leave out the rest of the article which was mostly quite favorable to e-learning. They started their story with a reference to student Angela Bostic, but didn't include the paragraph later in the article when she said: "I actually feel like I am learning more," said Angela Bostic, the student. "The dynamic is such that you have to learn how to effectively communicate in the written form. That is actually more of a task than speaking in class."

It is also very interesting (and telling) to compare the subtitles to the article. The Post says "As More Schools Embrace Web-Based Courses, More Students Log On to Expand Their Education While They Work" while the Detroit News (boo, hiss!!) says "Enrollment spiked to 2.35M in '04, but critics argue in-person classes offer better experience."

I was particularly disturbed by the last sentence in the Detroit story that said "Stanford University today offers online master's degrees in certain sciences, but most elite schools have looked down their noses at online degrees." Disturbed because that is simply not the truth. BTW, many people consider UMass to be an elite school, but the Detroit editors decided to leave out that part of the story.

Moral of the story: when a paper (online or otherwise) reprints from another source, it's always a good idea to check the original source to see if you got the whole story.

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