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(Edububble)   Harvard holds secret, closed-door meeting to combat the way that kids are learning without paying high tuition   (edububble.com) divider line 91
    More: Amusing, Internet and Society, Harvard, ad nauseum, tuition  
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12333 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Apr 2012 at 11:38 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-11 12:57:04 PM  

Kimothy: There are plenty of college professors who are losing their shiat over people having open access to courses. They are worried about their exclusivity, their specialness, whatever. Their fear is that someone else can get for free what they paid out the nose for - of for what they expect people to pay for.


No, there really aren't. I'm friends with an awful lot of professors at Universities, liberal arts colleges and technical/community colleges. None of them give a crap. There are so many reasons none of them care but perhaps the largest - college courses have been open access for decades. There is nothing stopping you from sitting in on a lecture at your favorite public University, nor has there been for decades and presumably longer.
 
2012-04-11 12:57:30 PM  

lennavan: Where or how would you begin this "research?"

I'll skip the next few posts between us and let you know where we're going. You're ultimately going to tell me you would find an actual reliable source. So what you did was not believe the blog at all, dug further and found a reliable source which you believed.


I didn't say whether it was true or not. I just gave my opinion on the subject. If i cared about it enough, i might spend a couple days researching it before i came to a conclusion, but i do not.

You, however, are telling people to just ignore it because in your opinion it's false, even though you can't know that for sure, and have done no research. I think Einstein said something about condemnation without investigation...
 
2012-04-11 12:58:31 PM  

gopher321: White people problems.


Funny. Finding a way to obtain a Harvard education without paying a Harvard tuition may even benefit you people.
 
2012-04-11 12:59:11 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: lennavan: Where or how would you begin this "research?"

I'll skip the next few posts between us and let you know where we're going. You're ultimately going to tell me you would find an actual reliable source. So what you did was not believe the blog at all, dug further and found a reliable source which you believed.

I didn't say whether it was true or not. I just gave my opinion on the subject. If i cared about it enough, i might spend a couple days researching it before i came to a conclusion, but i do not.

You, however, are telling people to just ignore it because in your opinion it's false, even though you can't know that for sure, and have done no research. I think Einstein said something about condemnation without investigation...



This is your blog, isn't it? It sucks.
 
2012-04-11 01:06:40 PM  

lennavan: This is your blog, isn't it? It sucks.


You just don't learn about assuming things.
 
2012-04-11 01:08:22 PM  
It's all about rubbing elbows with the future leaders of the World while you're there. The education, I imagine, is first-rate. However, the relationships you make while attending as well as the internships you can work are far more important than the actual book knowledge you will acquire while there.

Doors open to Harvard grads y'all; don't hate.

-Definitely not Harvard material myself
 
2012-04-11 01:09:29 PM  
Harvard doesn't sell education, it sells the right to put the Harvard name on a resume and to network with wealthy families and plug in to a "good old boy network".

Want world-class educational materials for completely free? MIT has been giving them out for years, pretty much every class they have with all the course materials.

There is even an app for that: "iTunes U"

Harvard alone can't unring the bell. They'd be more like the MPAA & RIAA trying to hold back the tide of seeing the internet completely change a business model and trying to veto it, but in this case without even the fig leaf of copyright (since it's not their own course materials being put online).
 
d3
2012-04-11 01:13:16 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Meanwhile the U of Chicago is whittling away at having students pay tuition to attend the school.


A couple years ago I ran the calculations that Harvard could make 3% return off investment holdings and cover tuition for all the students.
 
2012-04-11 01:21:53 PM  
The only thing a university can provide that you can't get for close to free is access to equipment. Even though that is becoming a rarity, especially in science classrooms. For actual learning it's all really done in study groups and by autodidacts, anyway.
 
d3
2012-04-11 01:27:17 PM  

d3: WhyteRaven74: Meanwhile the U of Chicago is whittling away at having students pay tuition to attend the school.

A couple years ago I ran the calculations that Harvard could make 3% return off investment holdings and cover tuition for all the students.


Just checked, yup still basically true. $32B endowment x 3.5% = $1.12B/ year divide by ~21,000 students across all disciplines and you get ~$53k/student which is pretty much what a year of tuition and fees will run.

BTW, the endowment typically has a return much higher than 4% so they could give away an education to all who actually deserve a quality education and still make money every year.
 
2012-04-11 01:28:11 PM  
venerant
"I was rolling on the floor laughing - RFL to you youngsters-"

No, no it's not.


Indeed, and it's not really a "youngsters" thing. ROFL and its variations goes back to at least the 80s - I started using it about 1993, and it was well known then.

Kids today are using LOL or smileys - at the end of every goddamn sentence.

/my cyberlawn, off it
 
2012-04-11 01:44:31 PM  

Kimothy: There are plenty of college professors who are losing their shiat over people having open access to courses. They are worried about their exclusivity, their specialness, whatever. Their fear is that someone else can get for free what they paid out the nose for - of for what they expect people to pay for.


Except, most professors today paid far, far less for their education than you pay now. I paid 0$ for my Ph.D., and my undergraduate degree cost a hilariously tiny fraction of your tuition bill.

Every year I have a handful of people asking if they can sit in my class even though they are not students. I never have problems with this, because there's always room in the class. Hey look, someone's getting an education for free, I guess I'm rabidly opposed to that according to your belief system.

So no, professors aren't afraid that you will get your education for "free." Most of us got our Ph.D.s for free, if you don't count the time value of our labor. Our generation usually advises kids to avoid graduate school unless they get it for free, so your theory has a few small holes.

It's just as bad in K-12 education. Teachers, administrators, and superintendents are VERY worried that what they've had exclusive dominion over - public education - is becoming much more open because of the Internet and charter schools.


Yes, we're afraid of the Internet. The same Internet that told a bunch of "researchers" to stop vaccinating their kids. The Internet that told a bunch of "researchers" that the president faked his birth certificate, and that "fire can't melt steel" (how do they melt steel?) and that the theory of relativity is a liberal conspiracy.

We're afraid because surfing the Internet just might give kids the same education they get from having to study all semester to pass rigorous exams in differential equations, circuits and physics. They might get that from reading Wikipedia, because it turns out that becoming a genius is secretly very easy, and simply a matter of goofing off on the Internet.

And of course K-12 schools are afraid of home schooling, because it means the most busybodying parents and the most religious parents unplug from the system and stop harassing teachers, which is like the worst thing in the world.
 
2012-04-11 01:46:04 PM  
Harvard's "legacy" admission rate is 30%. Something to consider ...

Link (new window)
 
2012-04-11 01:47:54 PM  

lewismarktwo: The only thing a university can provide that you can't get for close to free is access to equipment. Even though that is becoming a rarity, especially in science classrooms. For actual learning it's all really done in study groups and by autodidacts, anyway.


Well, the university also grants you (a) admission, establishing that you are Harvard material, and (b) a degree, establishing that you passed the program to their satisfaction. Universities don't just teach you, they also admit you, score you and provide your transcript to employers.
 
2012-04-11 01:48:05 PM  

Xcott: And of course K-12


Let's just be clear, K-12 education is a whole different world. You can talk about college/university, or you can talk about K-12. You can't talk about both at the same time, unless it's a discussion about how completely different they are.

Xcott: They might get that from reading Wikipedia


I know you were making fun of it but I actually teach college kids how to use Wikipedia (it's usually a nice collection of citations, so click the citations)
 
2012-04-11 01:50:51 PM  
Xcott:

i'm not going to quote your whole response, but you are 100% correct. Many of my students don't show up for class despite the fact that they are paying for that opportunity, so I have no moral qualms about letting outside people sit in. The space is created by students who don't care to be there, so why would they care about happens to that space in their absence?
 
2012-04-11 01:51:33 PM  
i359.photobucket.com
 
2012-04-11 01:57:42 PM  

lennavan: Let's just be clear, K-12 education is a whole different world. You can talk about college/university, or you can talk about K-12. You can't talk about both at the same time, unless it's a discussion about how completely different they are.


I am at this precise moment talking about college and K-12 education at the same time.

K-12 education is different in many ways, some obvious and some subtle (whiteboards work well in K-12 classrooms and are horrible nonfunctional monstrosities in college classrooms) but I don't see your point: nowhere did I equate college with K-12 education.

I know you were making fun of it but I actually teach college kids how to use Wikipedia (it's usually a nice collection of citations, so click the citations)

I'm not making fun of Wikipedia, but Wikipedia is no more or less valuable than a paper encyclopedia or a library full of books. You can browse the library and read the books, but you still won't have what it takes to pass a rigorous course on quantum mechanics, operating systems or microbiology. College is not a simple matter of absorbing written knowledge.
 
2012-04-11 02:03:00 PM  

Xcott: I am at this precise moment talking about college and K-12 education at the same time.


I wasn't disagreeing with you but rather adding on. It was more of a "anyone reading your post should also realize..."

It's an enormous pet peeve of mine, especially in talks about tenure.
 
2012-04-11 02:08:35 PM  
Revolution and change - but only when it hurts conservatives!
 
2012-04-11 02:23:44 PM  
Maybe they are putting together the sylibus fro the new course on Obama


Link (new window)
 
2012-04-11 02:32:37 PM  
It's good to know that MIT is doing their part.

The entire MIT curriculum is available for free, including video lectures and demonstrations, online

Link (new window)

But without that Harvard MBA, of course, you'll never understand any of it. After all, MIT is an engineering school.
 
2012-04-11 03:19:07 PM  

X-boxershorts: It's good to know that MIT is doing their part.

The entire MIT curriculum is available for free, including video lectures and demonstrations, online

Link (new window)

But without that Harvard MBA, of course, you'll never understand any of it. After all, MIT is an engineering school.


Phil Sharp frowns on your shenanigans.
 
2012-04-11 03:34:25 PM  
lennavan: TyrantII: I've interacted with Harvard kids and even seen Harvard undergrad course work. And It's not much different than any other 4 year school.

It's way different. The professors at Harvard don't give a shiat about teaching. Their tenure and their jobs are in no way determined by their teaching ability.

As you said though, the name Harvard on your diploma is worth way more than its weight in gold.


Some can't won't or don't teach. Others love it from 100 level to 500 level classes.

As said, not much different then other schools. I've taken plenty of college courses where you're on your own to learn the material from a book and the prof is there to just hand out the test.

Grad level is where it's at, since you'd be working directly with the top names in the field. But undergrad is all about getting the paper and keeping the higher than average grade that the school requires. There's nothing you learn that you can't at other schools, besides how to bullshiat with the next leaders of the free world.
 
2012-04-11 04:00:52 PM  

Xcott: This is probably the main reason that professors blanche at the idea of "opening" education.


Typical college professors are why people like the idea of opening up education

I've got 2 B.A.'s. Spent six years at the University of Kentucky in total. From my time there I must say that the bulk of college instructors are on autopilot. Tenured faculty are the worst, but I've seen plenty of lousy instructors at the non-tenured staff level.

Way, way too many classes given as canned lectures three times a week for 50 minutes, with essay-test midterm and final where you essentially had to regurgitate what you had been lectured at in an essay format for a few pages. I had 100 level classes like that, and I had 400 level classes like that.

I had way more professors that didn't want you to think or debate.

I had a 400-level Political Science course on globalization and international economic policy. The class was being taught by apparently a Professor of Economics. Day 1 of the class he opened up with telling us why globalization is always good and free trade is always good, and these aren't points up for debate. After a few days of him essentially harping on and on about the dangers of tariffs and how shortsighted and narrow people who object to outsourcing jobs are, I tried to question him. Big mistake. Even though I'd read up on the subject and had logical arguments, he angrily and bitterly snapped at me saying that he is a tenured professor of Economics who has been published in suchandsuch journal and lectured at universities on three continents. . .and I am a lowly undergraduate and not even an Economics undergraduate, so it's clear I am plainly ignorant so I should shut up, sit down, and just trust that everything he says is right. I dropped his farking class.

On the same level, I had another 400-level Political Science class, this one was supposed to be a course on the politics of the Middle East, a general course on political issues of the modern Middle East. The professor was Iranian. The class was nothing but the history and politics of Iran. In an entire semester of class, every single country and issue in the middle east that wasn't Iran was just 2 days. The only way to pass the course was to parrot back his narrative about how the west has constantly oppressed and meddled in affairs of the innocent and peaceful Iranian state, and to note how that the political system of Iran is no more oppressive than the politics of the US, ect. I got an A in the class, but only by shutting up, not thinking critically, and parroting back what was said. I saved the actual critical thought and debate for the internet, where I wouldn't be marked down for disagreeing with official dogma.

One class I had to take at one point was Philosophy 337, Legal Philosophy. The professor was a visiting lecturer from Berkley, with a very left-wing slant on things. I am pretty dang liberal myself, but this professor basically liked to make us read modern-day legal philosophers who would propose things like declaring all heterosexual intercourse as rape, on the idea that women are so oppressed by men in society they are inherently unable to fully consent to sex, so at any point in the future they should be able to retroactively renounce their consent and press rape charges against any man they have ever had sex with if she later feels she was pressured or manipulated into it. He also had us read philosophy papers which basically said that white men are responsible for all societal ills and should be openly discriminated against to make things even. He wasn't exactly open to the idea of students wanting to debate or discuss these points, he just wanted us to read the articles and recite the points to him. If you tried to argue against one of these philosophers on a test, expect a letter grade no better than a "C", but if you parroted it all back to him and explained why it was a good idea: easy A.

Math professors in my experience have been a total joke. The level of contempt I've seen from tenured professors who for one reason or another who had to teach 100-level math classes was remarkable. I've seen professors openly boast that in this basic College Algebra class they are teaching, less than half the class will even pass. . .but they justify it by saying those that pass will do well if they go on to take Calculus.

My wife dropped out of college this semester, in large part after being completely disheartened by instructors who sapped enthusiasm and energy out of school. A math instructor who had class which was a brief lecture and a couple of demonstration problems, giving out a homework assignment, and then dismissing class, and noting that if you have a problem with the homework or questions, the college's tutoring center is down the hall, so don't bug him, or the psychology instructor who gave a canned lecture, didn't answer questions, and gave scantron exams with pedantic, nitpicking wording of questions. As she noted, the class itself could have been replaced with a video or recording of the lecture and taking a multiple-choice test on a computer, but the college was charging about $500 for that class alone.

Yeah, there were some instructors who gave a damn and tried, and encouraged thought, but there were far more instructors (faculty and staff) that could have been replaced with a video recording of a lecture and nothing of value would be lost.
 
2012-04-11 04:24:01 PM  

Silverstaff: Way, way too many classes given as canned lectures three times a week for 50 minutes, with essay-test midterm and final where you essentially had to regurgitate what you had been lectured at in an essay format for a few pages. I had 100 level classes like that, and I had 400 level classes like that.

I had way more professors that didn't want you to think or debate.


The correct way to interpret this is you had way too many professors who were extremely smart when it comes to their specific field but had no farking clue how to teach students, let alone any training.

Hiring and tenure decisions are not based on your teaching ability at the sorts of Universities you describe. I think what you are looking for is a smaller college where a math professor is there because they like teaching and they do math on the side. At a University, a math professor is doing whatever the hell it is mathematicians do all day long, while being forced to teach because the University makes him/her.
 
2012-04-11 05:17:32 PM  

Silverstaff: Typical college professors are why people like the idea of opening up education.


Except, as I said above, education has been "opened up" for hundreds of years.

We seem to have an entire generation completely unaware that we built giant repositories of books that are free for them to read, including college-level textbooks with exercises---and not only do they never set foot in a library, they have to go blog about how they want free and open access to higher learning---like that hasn't been invented yet.
 
2012-04-11 05:23:09 PM  

Crewmannumber6: gopher321: White people problems.

Funny. Finding a way to obtain a Harvard education without paying a Harvard tuition may even benefit you people.


What do you mean, "you people"?
 
2012-04-11 05:34:26 PM  
Dear Hallowed Halls™ cash cow milkers.

The jig is up.

There's lots of words on the internet and people of all economic strata (strata.. yeah, USA! USA!) read them every day and they are learning a lot of things without oinking up a f*cking king's ransom to do so. And they are also catching on the fact that spending 120,000.00 for a paper towel dispenser degree is basically offering nothing but starting out in the lab rat maze at age 26 with enough debt to choke a horse. Ha ha. Pretty much anybody parsing the upper end of the Bell curve could, with diligence and hard work, pass the bar in about two years of red-eyed nights in front of a TFT screen.

I look to the future of a lot of vernacular, self made, well read autodidacts who focus on results paying their bills from a 30/5 mbp/s connection as your grand old network and etched in stone institution becomes one more barely used, pigeon festooned marble edifice full of people who used to be able to slide any mook with your credentials under any door. We've seen the "best and the brightest" pocket huge chunks of the economy on nothing more than a phone call from the "people who matter" and a crisply ironed Brooks Brothers shirt. Eat sh*t.
 
2012-04-11 05:35:11 PM  

lennavan: Kimothy: There are plenty of college professors who are losing their shiat over people having open access to courses. They are worried about their exclusivity, their specialness, whatever. Their fear is that someone else can get for free what they paid out the nose for - of for what they expect people to pay for.

No, there really aren't. I'm friends with an awful lot of professors at Universities, liberal arts colleges and technical/community colleges. None of them give a crap. There are so many reasons none of them care but perhaps the largest - college courses have been open access for decades. There is nothing stopping you from sitting in on a lecture at your favorite public University, nor has there been for decades and presumably longer.


We will have to agree to disagree. I attended two online teaching/learning conferences just in the last year (I have a PhD in Edu Technology) and heard quite a bit from professors who did not want to put courses online, make information available to the public, or do any of the things discussed in this thread. Your experience is obviously different. There are entire departments at universities dedicated to assisting these professors getting with the program, and the resistance they meet is disheartening. To be fair, I work with these departments on occasion (freelance stuff) and have had my fair share of the same complaints. Of course, it's clearly a biased source - because the professors who don't mind doing it don't complain. It might just be a case of the squeaky wheel - they complain the most because they fear the most, and that's what I tend to hear the most, in my experiences.

I am a full-time K-12 teacher (in an online/hybrid technology based school) and the teachers in the public schools have the same issues. No one wants to be "replaced" by online instruction. But honestly, the best online instruction has excellent facilitation by the prof and assistants. Not many people do well in an unsupervised self-learning class (as evidenced in the article).

//My anecdotal experience rules, yo.
 
2012-04-11 06:01:55 PM  

bunner: Dear Hallowed Halls™ cash cow milkers.

The jig is up.

There's lots of words on the internet and people of all economic strata (strata.. yeah, USA! USA!) read them every day and they are learning a lot of things without oinking up a f*cking king's ransom to do so. And they are also catching on the fact that spending 120,000.00 for a paper towel dispenser degree is basically offering nothing but starting out in the lab rat maze at age 26 with enough debt to choke a horse. Ha ha. Pretty much anybody parsing the upper end of the Bell curve could, with diligence and hard work, pass the bar in about two years of red-eyed nights in front of a TFT screen.

I look to the future of a lot of vernacular, self made, well read autodidacts who focus on results paying their bills from a 30/5 mbp/s connection as your grand old network and etched in stone institution becomes one more barely used, pigeon festooned marble edifice full of people who used to be able to slide any mook with your credentials under any door. We've seen the "best and the brightest" pocket huge chunks of the economy on nothing more than a phone call from the "people who matter" and a crisply ironed Brooks Brothers shirt. Eat sh*t.


Best thing I've read all day, gonna go throw rotten vegetables at the nearest university now.
 
2012-04-11 06:38:37 PM  

gopher321: Crewmannumber6: gopher321: White people problems.

Funny. Finding a way to obtain a Harvard education without paying a Harvard tuition may even benefit you people.

What do you mean, "you people"?


Took long enough
 
2012-04-11 07:28:01 PM  

bunner: There's lots of words on the internet and people of all economic strata (strata.. yeah, USA! USA!) read them every day and they are learning a lot of things without oinking up a f*cking king's ransom to do so.


Ah, millennials. What a brave new world they live in, where people suddenly have access to free books and society is just about to subvert the dominant educational paradigm.

I guess that's what happens when you take books and display them on TV screens and phones. Now we need to put up videos of lawnmowing and raking leaves, so that they become aware of the existence of chores.
 
2012-04-11 08:18:07 PM  

Xcott: bunner: There's lots of words on the internet and people of all economic strata (strata.. yeah, USA! USA!) read them every day and they are learning a lot of things without oinking up a f*cking king's ransom to do so.

Ah, millennials. What a brave new world they live in, where people suddenly have access to free books and society is just about to subvert the dominant educational paradigm.

I guess that's what happens when you take books and display them on TV screens and phones. Now we need to put up videos of lawnmowing and raking leaves, so that they become aware of the existence of chores.


I am not a millennial. Not any any stretch of the imagination. And books are the jazz. Some of them are one 1080 dpi screens.
 
2012-04-11 08:20:46 PM  

WillyChase: Best thing I've read all day, gonna go throw rotten vegetables at the nearest university now.


Ah, sarcasm. The Bic lighter to life's rich bonfire.
 
2012-04-11 08:34:45 PM  

Silverstaff: Xcott: This is probably the main reason that professors blanche at the idea of "opening" education.

Typical college professors are why people like the idea of opening up education

Snip of long, depressing CSBs

Wow. Just...wow. Stories like that are why I'm so smug about being in science, where there's an objective reality, and the professor's take on it has absolutely no bearing. Molecules interact the way they do, and they don't give a shiat whether you're left-leaning or right-leaning,

Your math story was the most depressing, and a perfect example of someone who's completely missed the point of teaching. I've just been hired to teach first-year chemistry for the summer at my undergrad, and one of the questions I asked during my interview was what I wanted the students to take away from the course. I said that I wanted them to discover that chemistry shouldn't be scary, that it's actually quite straightforward, and the reason most people think it's hard is because they've had a bad experience with bad teachers. I do a lot of tutoring, mostly high school, and it's my firm opinion that anyone can learn chemistry (especially at the high school level) with the right attitude and right teacher.

 
2012-04-11 10:00:22 PM  
This guy doesn't realize that the quality of education at Harvard is pretty much the same as it is everywhere else. The principal benefit of an elite university (aside from an endowment that attracts better projects and creates nice facilities) is the opportunity to network and meet people who are considered tops in the field. I'd dare say some of the courses I took at my alma mater poor state university were more rigorous than what I'm taking now. But the fact that I'm at Harvard gives me instant credibility and an opportunity to network with spectacularly interesting people.

/Harvard grad student
 
2012-04-11 10:20:30 PM  
But you gotta admit, being a prof is an easy job once you get it. As long as you don't care about getting EVERYONE to learn and you lay off trying to get published all the time, which not many can manage to do.
 
2012-04-12 02:07:23 PM  

Kimothy: heard quite a bit from professors who did not want to put courses online, make information available to the public, or do any of the things discussed in this thread.


Out of sheer curiosity, what level was this and what subject area? Community College, small college, large university? I just can't imagine a professor not wanting information to be made available to the public, it just doesn't make any sense. The text books they use are all publicly available. If it's public, anyone can just sit in for free, so long as there is physical space and they're not bumping someone who is paying out (and not get credit of course). It just doesn't make any sense to me. And at the University level, most of the professors could care less about teaching. The only push back I've ever seen to technology is they have to learn how to use it. I know some professors who don't want to put stuff online but it's not about access or freely available information, it's because the camera is mounted on the wall at a specific angle and hooked up to powerpoint, so they have to use powerpoint and stay within a certain area in front while they lecture.

Kimothy: There are entire departments at universities dedicated to assisting these professors getting with the program, and the resistance they meet is disheartening.


Well, the department here is dedicated to assisting professors teach more effectively and making things freely available to the public seems pretty low on their list. Getting course materials online is a huge deal but access to those is usually limited to the enrolled students. And none of this is really driven by the professors, it's driven by the various support departments. Because again, the professors don't care, they aren't here to teach, they're forced to teach.

Kimothy: I am a full-time K-12 teacher (in an online/hybrid technology based school) and the teachers in the public schools have the same issues


Like I said, K-12 is a totally different beast. I have no idea what's really going on at that level. The family members who teach K-12 that I know, the only push back to using technology is they don't want to learn how to use it. They're not against putting stuff online, so long as the computer person at their school does it for them.
 
2012-04-12 04:08:53 PM  

lennavan: The only push back I've ever seen to technology is they have to learn how to use it. I know some professors who don't want to put stuff online but it's not about access or freely available information, it's because the camera is mounted on the wall at a specific angle and hooked up to powerpoint, so they have to use powerpoint and stay within a certain area in front while they lecture.


This is my experience too. We have an online distance learning classroom with a support staff who do most of the work; and once you've taught a class, teaching it in subsequent years becomes very easy.

However, you have to convert all of your notes to PowerPoint, and you have to use PowerPoint which can be unpleasant for certain dense and exotically typed subject matter like mathematics.

I'm glad I agreed to move one of my courses online, but it was initially a lot of work. To this day I'm sort of amazed that I managed to do it.
 
2012-04-12 05:26:29 PM  

lennavan: Kimothy: heard quite a bit from professors who did not want to put courses online, make information available to the public, or do any of the things discussed in this thread.

Out of sheer curiosity, what level was this and what subject area? Community College, small college, large university? I just can't imagine a professor not wanting information to be made available to the public, it just doesn't make any sense. The text books they use are all publicly available. If it's public, anyone can just sit in for free, so long as there is physical space and they're not bumping someone who is paying out (and not get credit of course). It just doesn't make any sense to me. And at the University level, most of the professors could care less about teaching. The only push back I've ever seen to technology is they have to learn how to use it. I know some professors who don't want to put stuff online but it's not about access or freely available information, it's because the camera is mounted on the wall at a specific angle and hooked up to powerpoint, so they have to use powerpoint and stay within a certain area in front while they lecture.



Excellent question, and I'm afraid I can't give you a totally accurate answer. Each conference addressed drew a different range of people. The most vociferous reaction came from a professor at a large state university, and he was fully tenured and only taught upper division classes. He hated the idea of "his" lectures being available to everyone. If my memory serves me correctly, they were mostly from state schools (although some were in the UC schools and would be considered a bit more elite than your standard state university). I'd also say about 99% were from public universities or small private colleges. Definitely no Ivy league or upper-tier schools like that, except for the California conference, which drew from all the UC schools. The impression I got was they taught upper division, fairly exclusive courses. I can't recall anyone being against putting courses like Psych 101 or History 101 online.

//So.... maybe on reflection, the problem is with particularly ego-centric profs, and not profs in general. (To be fair). :)
 
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