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Re: [xmca] Is College Moving Online? : The New Yorker

Andy --


We got responses from 107 different institutions in 36 states. Very few
multiple responses from the same institution: 132 total responses. We got
responses from all four sectors: nonprofit private institutions, state
universities/colleges, community colleges and for-profits (list of
institutions is available).

49 full-time (tenure track or contingent
12 full-time doing overload
39 adjuncts at 1 institution
32 adjuncts are multiple institutions

Overall, most believe that online education can reach dispersed and
distant populations effectively, but the working conditions (hours in the
day, pay per class) set absolute limits on quality. Most classes are
written by full-timers; adjuncts teach classes written by others. Nearly
half of respondents did not know the copyright status of their classes.
Pay per class is highest at state universities (often unionized) where
faculty get $4000 per class. Pay is worst at private non-profits and
for-profits, where pay is $2000 per class or less. Faculty are also
unclear about their expectations of continuing employment. The report
divides faculty into three groups: full-time faculty with access to
institutional resources (computer, internet access, office, phone);
adjuncts with alternate sources of income, and adjuncts attempting to lead
a professional academic life while teaching multiple courses at multiple
institutions, despite lack of institutional support. While tenured faculty
express concern that their courses, developed with the support of
university resources, cannot be effectively taught by someone who lacks
those resources (an adjunct working from home and teaching multiple other
classes at multiple institutions, for example), that concern is really
about working conditions across the industry. Fear of loss of control of
the work (academic freedom) at one end of the spectrum is actual loss of
control at the other end. Faculty across the board are concerned and
unhappy both about control of the work itself and other educational
issues, and about pay and compensation.

....Yet this is clearly the future of higher ed. I think that the MOOC
controversy is just a bump in the road while we shed most small private
colleges and turn community colleges into vocational training schools. The
culture of reading, thinking, discussing, reviewing and writing does not
make money by itself and doesn't need to be carried out by more than a few
priests at the top of the mountain.

How this is going to help us deal with climate change and the movement of
whole populations across continents is not clear to me.

Enjoy -- Helena 


On 5/15/13 4:54 AM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

>Could you give xmca-ers an exewcutive summary Helena?

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