University of California teacher union to block online courses

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

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

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

Every time someone tries to manipulate the government into legislating them out of obsolescence, I am equal parts amused and disgusted.

endtime on

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

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

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

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

In other news, the Buggy Whip Assembler's Union has some concerns they would like to raise regarding the adoption of the new "Horseless Carriage" technology.

CamperBob on

A manufacturing union would aim to block jobs being moved offshore. Why wouldn't a teacher's union do the same? Just because "management" is the public / government?

smackfu on

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?

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