The emperor has no clothes.

10 11 2011

I saw this in IHE yesterday:

“Though it did not sample faculty opinion directly, responses from those same academic leaders suggest that professors have also been slow to completely come around on online education. Since 2003, the proportion of respondents who agree that their faculty “fully accept” the “value and legitimacy of online education” has edged up from 30.4 percent to 32 percent.”

I’ve seen surveys like this before, but that was just a survey of and about college presidents – not a survey of professors and certainly not a survey of college professors guessing what their professors think.

Despite the implication of progress in this language, 32 percent still strikes me as being unbelievably low when you consider the fact that presidents have every reason in the world to overestimate faculty acceptance of online classes and most faculty have every incentive in the world not to tell their university’s president what they really think.

Leslie M-B, however, has told us all exactly what she thinks of the online classes at her institution:

* online classes are about faculty relinquishing control of their “content” and allowing for the greater adjunctification of the university;

* the university has a narrow view of online teaching as content to be acquired by students;

* the university is not really invested in best practices in online learning.

Did I mention that she’s untenured?

If you read her entire monologue, you’ll see that her employer has a lot of quirks with respect to what they consider online learning. Nevertheless, if you read this blog regularly you know that there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that this critique is hardly unique among faculty. The funny thing is that there’s plenty of evidence that the online arms of traditional universities know that the education they offer is inferior too. Here’s another gem from last Sunday’s online education takedown in the NYT:

One bonus for students in programs connected to traditional universities: diplomas likely won’t mention that the degree was earned online.

Gee, I wonder why they might want to hide that fact? I guess the only people who don’t realize that online education is an inferior product are tech reporters and college presidents.



One response

14 11 2011
“Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” « More or Less Bunk

[…] good as face-to-face classes, nobody would try to hide the fact that they went to online college. They do. If online colleges were just as good as face-to-face classes, they wouldn’t be the higher […]

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