As someone who has taught in person, online, and hybrid I can tell you a huge downside to moving to strictly online learning:
My experience with online only taught me that there is a large group of students who are put at distinct disadvantage with online education. People have different learning styles. Some learning styles fit well with online; others do not, and indeed, for those students, online is counterproductive.
For many students, the close presence of a human being in the room who cares about their progress is essential. “Scaled up” online teaching means they don’t even get that ONLINE, much less in person.
In addition, if those classes are scaled up, the emphasis will be on rote memorization rather than on imagination, conceptual thinking, critical thinking, and innovation.
Scaled up classes jammed with students require assessment through multiple choice tests. Forget writing or any other means of assessment that doesn’t involve checking a box.
Online teaching & learning is a terrific OPTION, not a panacea.
The technology we need to fight diseases is that which is associated with creating vaccinations and other means of preventing contagion. The people who will develop those means will use computers, but they will need a solid grounding in at least hybrid, SCALED DOWN education.
Funny how the lower cost involved with online learning isn’t translated in this model into smaller classes and higher pay for teachers.
That’s called GREED, otherwise known as unfettered capitalism, and that is how we got here.