Teachers will have to adapt to the new role of the student on the Net. For instance, the teacher role must shift from being a leader to being a coach as student autonomy in the learning process increases. The traditional methods of oral and written review of assigned textual material will no longer be the way to measure learning. Instead, students will measure and document their own learning progress. Within the knowledge building community, teachers will be one expert of many and must now function as a "team of experts" rather than as a sole source of expertise.
With regards to course development, technologies in Net-based learning such as multimedia, hypertext, and search engines for ubiquitous information access "are creating non-linear and multidimensional learning environments" to support student autonomy. In addition, the structure and presentation of required, basic course material are more goal-oriented and motivating to meet the needs of students.
While critics initially charged that Net-based learning was vastly inferior to traditional classroom settings, some now wonder if traditional education will survive as the transformational possibilities of Net-based learning, teaching and developing course content are fully realized. The answer is a resounding 'yes'. The reason is that net-based learning can be designed to include some elements of socialization, but not all. Physically attending college is a great experience. Colleges shape students' lives and teach values, ethics and cultures that are unique to schools. Often, one can tell which school a person has attended just by listening to the person's communication style. Going to an online school is different. Students can have a great learning experience in an online school, but students may not get a chance to fully immerse themselves the culture of the college they are attending. Colleges offer interactive environments and encourage students to participate in extra-curricular activities. Students join different clubs and student unions at the colleges, and participate in debates, games and sports. These activities help shape students' lives and characters. Online learning communities can offer only some of a college's social environment; it can never replicate the same degree of face-to-face interactions. According to Peters (1998), "Although distance education and Net-based learning will significantly impact university learning, the traditional university will not be lost because it provides experiences that are unavailable to the distance learning student. As a result, "the university of the future will be a mixed mode university and distance education will be a prominent if not the fundamental element in it."