Mitchell Stevens

44 minutes

Justin Reich is joined by Mitchell Stevens, a sociologist of education at Stanford University to discuss the history and current relationship between online learning and higher education, and how COVID has altered that relationship.

“I do think this provides a moment of true uncertainty about the future, because essentially every college and university overnight had to reconceive what quality instruction would look and feel like at their institutions. It creates an openness to forward change that I honestly believe we cannot fully predict. It will depend, for example, on how American students and those who pay tuition feel about the value proposition of what they've experienced and the extent to which the utilities and advantages that they experience online are sufficiently satisfying, that they're willing to continue a conversation about online or hybrid delivery. I do believe this is the context in which how students and their families respond to these new environments will be definitive in how the fate of the sector unfolds.” - Mitchell Stevens

In this episode we’ll talk about:

  • What is higher education?
  • How online learning fits in with higher education
  • The historical relationship
  • How the pandemic changed the attitude towards online learning
  • Why isn’t higher education turning towards expensive, already produced online courses?
  • No mandate and no incentive to measure learning
  • The influx of K-12 homeschooling
  • Educational businesses, how they stand between home and school.


Resources and Links

Learn more about Mitchell Stevens and check out his Twitter!

Check out Justin Reich’s new book!




Produced by Aimee Corrigan and Garrett Beazley

Recorded and mixed by Garrett Beazley


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