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PostDistance Learning and Other Trends in Higher Ed (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 05/23/19 4:23 am)
At the big research universities, the power balance between faculty and administrators seems to slightly favor the faculty. At so-called teaching universities or colleges, administrators seem to have gained significant political ground. There are some factors I hypothesize may be behind such trend.
As the middle class gets squeezed financially, so are the financial support for education in general and higher ed specifically in most US states. Administrators are hungry for "other" sources of funds besides government budgets and tuition/fees. In Tennessee, administrators have received blessings from the governor to have our University President to set up a separate board he has to listen to. This board is loaded with the President's business acquaintances, has one student representative, and one faculty representative.
One national trend seems to be de-emphasizing quality of teaching/learning in favor of distance learning which pays better, lower requirements for access to courses, more remedial courses, more automation in teaching besides distance teaching, etc. Faculty at some universities have resisted such trends for reducing quality of education for the sake of increasing access and income. The following video illustrates.
One trend that I think very positive is the learning assessment based on students passing regional or nation certification tests for various professional groups in Engineering, Accounting, Nursing, etc.
JE comments: "Distance learning" is the probably the single largest shift in education models in the last half-century. Administrators love it--no overhead besides computers! Unlimited potential enrollment! We faculty question the quality of e-learning, and especially lament the loss of the human factor. How many students will cite an on-line instructor as a major inspiration in their lives?
Yet what is WAIS other than "distance learning"? I've learned a great deal over the years from this morning's contributors--Tim Ashby, Tor Guimaraes, and Gary Moore (next). One thing these three gentlemen have in common: I've never met any of them in person.