Online Courses Are Not Working

It’s no secret that online education is at an inflection point. Sales are down from their lockdown-era highs. Completion rates remain challenging, and as more people prioritize in-person experiences, even the best programs are suffering from low engagement.

In this episode, I take you along as I try to workout some ideas and feelings that I’ve been having about online courses, memberships, and other digital education. I start with a basic idea: that online education has a deep disrespect for the capabilities of adult learners, and defaults to a dopamine hacking banking model of instruction in order to create measurable return-on-investment rather than fostering agency, accountability, and creativity.

Drawing on the work of Paulo Freire, John Dewey, and Byung-Chul Han, I try to wrestle with the radical and critical pedagogy that I believe in and the challenges of relational and dialectical education in dematerialized space.

This episode is a question, and the answers are still brewing. But ultimately, it’s a challenge for all of us who teach online: what would it look like to respect our students, help them develop their ability to learn as adults, and move from a prescriptive to expansive education model?

Access the transcript.

access your programs

Log in to the Sarah M. Chappell Program Portal.

Log in to the Holistic Business Academy Member’s Portal.

Yes, I want to be the first to know when Sarah is accepting new coaching clients!