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Unlocking the Gates by Taylor Walsh, William G. Bowen

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EARLY EXPERIMENTS:FATHOM AND ALLLEARN

In the late 1990s, leaders in higher education—as in many sectors of the economy—were deeply interested in the internet’s power to fundamentally transform all aspects of doing business. Universities were eager to harness the networked environment to their advantage, and were particularly intrigued by the internet’s potential to transform education. Fathom, an online effort led by Columbia University, and AllLearn, a concurrent initiative of Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale, were two of a group of similar projects conceived in the late 1990s and launched around 2000, including California Virtual University, eCornell, NYUonline, UNext, and Virtual Temple.1 Speculation was rampant that education would ...

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