October 13, 2011, 11:45 AM —
Education spending has been hammered by the Great Recession, with California hit harder than most. Now the University of California chapter of the American Federation of Teachers is fighting to block online courses to save jobs.
University officials and state analysts agree that expanding online courses could help them "innovate out of the current crisis." So why did UC officials agree to a new provision requiring them to get union approval for creating online courses or programs that would result in a job change for a lecturer?
UC officials say nothing has really changed, and point to studies showing how well students learn online. Look at the Khan Academy and the lectures on TED for outstanding examples. Lecturers point to the social benefits of classroom interaction, but scientific data is sparse.
Let the wild rumpus start!
Moreover, there is no computer software that could possibly analyze the multiplicity of methods and variety of notation (in mathematics especially) that a student could use to demonstrate solutions to “critical thinking” type problems. Thus, most of an instructor’s activities CANNOT be replaced by “machines”.
Wendell Motter on insidehighered.com
Welcome to the 21st century, you idiots. BTW, having to drive to college instead of doing it from home means people have to use fossil fuels which pollutes the air and kills polar bears. Square that circle, geeks.
Bishop on hotair.com
The real innovators are going to be the people who come to the system from the outside and find a new way of teaching. And it will be much easier for those innovators to gain people's attention if the existing system isn't muddying the water with weak online offerings.
anigbrowl on news.ycombinator.com
Costs are key
There is no questions that there are benefits to classroom instruction in higher education, but there is also no question that the current model with absurdly high costs relative to benefits -- certainly much more expensive relative to other costs people face than it was 40, even 20, years ago -- cannot continue.
CataRenasci on insidehighered.com
My daughter is looking at a private college that has extensive on-line enrollment. They are able to offer on-campus enrollees large scholarships and grants because of all the money they make on-line.
dirtseller on hotair.com
Union smack talk
NEVER forget the purpose of the union is to collect dues! There is no way to collect union dues from a computer program.
Freddy on hotair.com
We are not standing in the way in progress, but we are trying to block the downsizing of academic jobs and the degrading of instructional quality.
Bob Samuels (President of UC-AFT) on insidehighered.com
As the husband and father of high school teachers, I believe good teachers are worth three times what they're paid. Looking back, do you remember a teacher, or a computer course, that inspired you?