Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore

David Wagner, Managing Editor | 12/28/2012 | 89 comments

David Wagner
It has long been suggested that technology was eventually going to allow for enough people to virtually attend classes that we wouldn't need the physical building.

But until now, most people have assumed that there would be something called a school where affiliated teachers would teach. A new platform, Professor Direct, allows for teachers to cut out the school and charge students directly for their expertise.

Each course on Professor Direct starts at $49 per student. Professors can choose to charge more. Professor Direct takes the first $49, but anything over it goes directly to the professor. Some schools will actually accept some of the classes for transfer credit, so this is no free online course designed to just grab eyeballs.

As the platform grows, one could actually imagine superstar professors in all fields choosing to skip out on the Harvards and Princetons of the world to serve their content at luxury prices on a platform like this one. Given the ability to pack literally thousands of students into a class, it wouldn't take too many students, even at $100 per student, to outstrip the salary of a college professor. Of course, there are some current drawbacks.

For one, students can't get a degree directly from a place like Professor Direct. Degrees are obviously important in the current job market, and we're unlikely to see that change any time soon.

Another is that professors will miss out on research support from universities. Travel expenses, labs, research assistants, and technicians are all a part of the built-in cost of a professor that a school accepts upon hiring. Building enough student following to make up for that lost assistance will be difficult for most professors.

Another factor is prestige. One must be at the right university or write the right book to build the superstar status that would command the fees and bring in the class sizes that would make being an unaffiliated professor lucrative.

Still, you're going to have people with the social networking skills, charisma, teaching ability, or ability to overcome research issues that are willing to make a go of it. And the price, along with the ability to transfer credits, is going to attract students.

Even if this alone doesn't bring down the walls of the school, it is clear technology is going to bring the people with knowledge and expertise closer together. If you're the CIO or president of a school, you're going to have to find a way to keep putting yourself into the space or facilitating the contact between students and your own professors. If you fail, expect to be disintermediated.

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Zaius   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/28/2012 4:49:32 PM
what about the acceptance?
For building skills, this apporach is fine. However, to get a job, the scenario might be different. For example, if I am a newly hired guy in a company, I might benefit from taking a virtual course on network security. But, during a job interview, if I say "I did network security corse, virtually"; how would the employer feel? I am not against virtal lessons, I am not sure about their accetance in companies. 

Many online courses have university affiliation. If a course is just certified by a single trainer (professor?), I do not how the others are going to accept that.
kicheko   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/28/2012 5:57:28 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
I too tend to think education needs a bit more than this. It is one thing if these classes come as extra tutorials or non formal refresher courses, but far from being a viable alternative to a normal class education.
Skr2011   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 2:46:55 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
I completely agree. Students need a combination of teaching tactics to aid different learning styles.
Umair Ahmed   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/28/2012 7:04:52 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
@ Zaius: Great points. I agree, at this stage professor direct is not able to add any value to one's resume. But the service can be used effectively by employers to train their team on specific subjects with the flexibility of online learning along with the expertise of real professional teacher.
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 12:17:28 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
@Zaius- The certification and acrediadation issue is a big one, but many colleges accept these course for transfer so it is an accepted educational facilitiy. As technology changes, we're lkely going to see changes in attitude toward online organizations and new arbiters of what "counts."
Broadway   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 2:28:33 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
There are too many degrees out there already -- hence, the reducing ROI on college. As more and more degrees come online, that will only increase the value of degrees from elite institutions. And they, as now, will truly determine "what counts."
Anand   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 9:56:31 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
As more and more degrees come online, that will only increase the value of degrees from elite institutions.


@Broadway, I totally agree with your observation. I think many people are sceptical about the online classes because its very hard to assess the performance of the students online. I have seen students outsourcing their homework/exams, so value of online degree is not as realistic as that from an elite institution.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 10:31:45 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
Anand,

I disagree.

I have seen this very same Outsourcing you talk about going on in even the most elite institutions today(See the Harvard Copying scandal in 2012 for more details).

I believe costs have a much higher role to play here.

Please see my posts on this issue here

http://www.enterpriseefficiency.com/messages.asp?piddl_msgthreadid=260928&piddl_msgid=891556#msg_891556

http://www.enterpriseefficiency.com/messages.asp?piddl_msgthreadid=260928&piddl_msgid=891561#msg_891561

http://www.enterpriseefficiency.com/messages.asp?piddl_msgthreadid=260928&piddl_msgid=891623#msg_891623

 

If you can get Online Accredited Degrees for say 30-50% less than those from Elite Institutions you can bet that a lot more students are gonna choose the Online Route going ahead.

The Debt burden on most American college students is just incredible(&beyond belief) today.

Regards

Ashish.

 
Anand   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 11:39:36 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
I have seen this very same Outsourcing you talk about going on in even the most elite institutions today(See the Harvard Copying scandal in 2012 for more details).


@Ashish, I do remember Harvard copying scandal but atleast these things gets noticed in elite institution but no-body verifies the authenticity of work-done/tests taken in online courses. 
Broadway   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 5:20:02 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
Cheating is a way of life for many higher ed students, at Harvard and other elite schools down to the smallest state school or community college. Cheating and "outsourcing" are inherent in American culture --- I'd argue human nature. Does that mean that a Harvard degree is any less valuable? No.
Anand   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 11:58:16 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
 Cheating and "outsourcing" are inherent in American culture --- I'd argue human nature.

@Broadway, yes its human nature but colleges and institutions must take strong initiatives and steps to overcome such malpractices. I am sure they have enough infrastrcture to overcome such malpractices.
rdv   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 3:33:21 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
@Ashish: I agree with you that if the online accredited course costs 30-50% less than one would go for that... albeit it depends which professor is offering the course...
nimanthad   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 7:29:21 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
Rdv: who will monitor the professors performance in such a scenario ?
rdv   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/1/2013 5:20:34 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
@Nimanthad: At the end of the course most of the university take up the feedback from every student about the professor, the tools used for online learning.  I hope this survey is fair and professor are rated accordingly...
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/4/2013 2:05:40 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
Rdv,

Lots of things matter(including Accrediation).

I know for a fact if I was looking to complete my Degree(on Loan);I would jump at the chance to complete Credits if the University offered Online Courses which cost 30%-50% less.

Unless you have experienced an insurmountable Debt Burden you won't know what I am driving at here.

Regards

Ashish.
rdv   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 3:44:10 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
@Anand: As I unterstand the online courses make students work on the home-works, projects, exams and they are duely assessed... the percentage of students outsourcing these is very less (which stills needs to be combat), but it gives opportunity for students and professors from remote areas to learn and get degrees....
CurtisFranklin   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 11:22:21 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
rdv, my son is taking part in an online degree program and I'm impressed by both the contents and the methods they're using to assess his work and progress. It's a great solution for him, and one that I think will become more popular with time.
Anand   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 11:59:36 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
It's a great solution for him, and one that I think will become more popular with time.

@Curtis, Yes, I agree with you that they will become popular overtime but do you think such online courses will become more popular than getting a degree by attending the college in person ?
Pubudu   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/4/2013 1:17:54 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
Yea all these are true, It's good to use technology to education. But do you all remember what we have done in our university life, haw many memories do we have, How Meany this we have to talk about our university life. Classrooms and teachers give more tangibility to education. So How many things will they loose with new technology ????
rdv   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/1/2013 5:48:19 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
@Curtis: I completely agree, I myself had taken up the online degree program and I feel that the course contents were awesome, professors made us work hard on all the assignments, projects and exams... going forward online programs will rule the education system.... 

  Another major boost for popularity of the online education are the cost of the course....
michaelsumastre   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/1/2013 10:18:39 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
RDV, ditto. I know that some online schools are just plain awful. I even come across stories of students that had been duped by thousands of dollars! But I also like to commend those that are really doing well. In fact, Coursera, which functions very similarly like a regular online school, gives out assignments and quizzes, and they're not the easiest things to work into. You know that even if the courses are for free, professors are dead serious in teaching you something valuable, something you can use perhaps at work or in your daily life. 
rdv   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/1/2013 11:22:16 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
@michaelsumastre: Wish You A Happy and Prosperous New Year...

There are many courses, the one I enjoyed and learnt the most is mitx, it was free and the questions were really tough... There is one more if you like by edx.org... These are genuine and good... 
michaelsumastre   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/2/2013 9:28:50 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
I checked out edx.org. Does it work like Coursera as well? I've seen a couple of courses that are truly interesting. How does this go? Do you also receive certificates or some recognition? Some schools in Coursera already do that, so that's really an extra boost. Of course, they can never compare to a diploma, but they can boost your credibility when you apply for a job as these are no-nonsense schools to begin with. Honestly, I still have to complete one full course. My schedule sometimes gets too busy to finish one, but based on experience, I like how it works. 
rdv   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/2/2013 1:17:18 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
I donno the exact model of Coursera, but the courses at edx.org are 1-3 month courses, there are exams and we do get a certification on completion of the course... My experience with the earlier course on Circuits was great.... For Spring this year I have signed for a course and I hope I learn many things time...
Anand   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 11:55:19 PM
Re: what about the acceptance?
but it gives opportunity for students and professors from remote areas to learn and get degrees....


@rdv, I dont deny the fact that it gives opportunity for students to learn and get degrees from remote place but then my concern is more w.r.t the real effort the students put-in to get the degrees. Colleges/Institution should make sure that the assignments, exams taken by students are geniune and not outsourced material.
michaelsumastre   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/1/2013 10:21:33 AM
Re: what about the acceptance?
Anand, I think students can help ensure that by researching about the online school properly. I suggest they read as many reviews as possible. If they can, get in touch with people who have studied or have been studying in these online schools or programs. They can also ask for recommendations from various organizations that certify or acknowledge online courses and universities (or colleges). I am not sure about what you mean by "outsourced material," but as for me, as long as the material is relevant, helpful, and useful for the students, I don't mind where it comes from.  
Umair Ahmed   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/28/2012 7:16:33 PM
Management Courses
@ David: Very valid points about research, lab and other support costs. I think there are more chances that the service like Professor Direct can be successful for management courses rather than technical courses, where the support cost and complexities will be relatively lower.
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 12:20:50 PM
Re: Management Courses
@umair- I agree, and another way to do this is for professors to affiliate with companies that have high applied science R&D budgets. It is possible (though not in the next generation or two) that we could easily cut the unversity out of the research system as it stands. Instead of counting on universities to sponsor basic research and enterprises to do applied science, maybe we can bring everone under one roof.
singlemud   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/28/2012 8:23:41 PM
Depends on how many prestigious universities accept credit
And also depends on how many credits can be transferred. If I can transfer all the credit, great, just accept an enrollment offer from expensive university, but take all courses from this online university.
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 12:22:43 PM
Re: Depends on how many prestigious universities accept credit
@singlemud- Most schools have limits on the number of transfer credits they'll accept from anywhere. Otherwise, the degree and the work you did may not really be the "same."

That said, some I'm aware of will allow as much as half the credits for a degree from somewhere else. That's a fair savings.
stotheco   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 2:10:04 AM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
There are huge tradeoffs here on both sides. Traditional schools offer perks like studies, conferences, and actual face-to-face interaction with peers and students. Professor Direct , well, offers more money.
kicheko   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 5:54:13 AM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
On the professors side i guess it works better as a part-time gig. based on the arguments in the post such as numbers....however from the students and employers side, i wonder how popular it is going to be.
Hospice_Houngbo   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 8:52:44 AM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@kicheko,

"On the professors side i guess it works better as a part-time gig."

Online class will be part of the any professor job assignment in a near future and they better get ready for that. 
batye   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 11:01:50 AM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
I think in the future/soon everything will be on-line via virt. pres. same as with online IT seminars... technology changing... to online education...
Zaius   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/30/2012 8:52:33 PM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
It is already there. In many schools, some faculty members record and upload online videos for online students. However, they do it under the umbrella of the university. 
Sara Peters   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/30/2012 11:31:10 PM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@Hospice_Houngbo   You're completely right: "Online class will be part of the any professor job assignment in a near future and they better get ready for that." Some professors might actually prefer it, as long as they can conduct the online class from wherever they are. The way professors keep their jobs isn't by teaching -- it's by doing their research. So, if online teaching can enable professors to spend more time off-campus, that could help out their research efforts and be a welcome change.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 7:07:34 AM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
Sara,

Very True.

But you do realize there is a Whole Ecosystem(and bunch of Unionized Staff);who are entirely dependent on Students coming and Staying in School for their Hefty paypackets?

Like Student Administrators,etc.

Those employees will basically have nothing to do going ahead and everyone gets disintermediated.

Not that I am complaining,especially if College costs fall by over 30% from where they are today.

Regards

Ashish.
JPoe   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 12:29:27 PM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@eethtworkz,

I don't think that anyone was suggesting that this would eliminate traditional brick/mortor schools. Or, were they?
Skr2011   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 2:20:54 PM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@JPOE I hope noone would suggest getting rid of brick and mortor schools. Students with learning disabilities find it very difficult to learn online. Students that are audatory learners will find it difficult to learn online. This option for students should never go away.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/4/2013 2:03:24 PM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
JPoe,

If a few( over-valued & Super-expensive)Brick and Mortar Schools do get eliminated in the process ;it won't really be much of a loss on Society.

Aleast it would save more gullible students from falling into an ever-deepening Debt Trap.

Won't it?
Hospice_Houngbo   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 8:49:27 AM
Re: Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@stotheco,

"Professor Direct , well, offers more money."

Of course the teaching experience is not "only" about earning more money. But for those who don't have a tenure position in a traditional university, Professor Direct will be a better way to earn a living. I cannot see any renowned professor doing his/her carreer at an online only university.
Pedro Gonzales   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 12:27:43 PM
more teaching alternatives
I think such tools have a great advantage for a specific type of staff, they are adjunct professors and graduate students.  Adjuncts will have the flexibility to teach more classes and make extra income for themselves.   As I know, some department have limited spots in the number of teaching assistants they can accept, Graduate students can be good teachers as well, they will be able to teach classes online and gain some valuable teaching experience. I may not see university professors doing this since they want might be to busy teaching at their respective universities
LuFu   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 2:13:42 PM
Professor Inflation
I can easily imagine Professor Direct-like virtual education platforms becoming a haven for consultants and freelancers who compete with professional educators. This could be good or bad with the non-professional teachers adding more real-world industry influences into a virtual class than perhaps a pure academic approach. That also means that anyone can teach a class, regardless if you graduated from Stanford or the School of Hard Knocks. Why, apparently students can get in on the education action, here's one called Squareknot that's a start-up by some college students that is coming out of beta and supposedly let's virtually anyone become a virtual knowledge spinmeister.
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 2:20:19 PM
Re: Professor Inflation
@lufu- Yummy. That means we can make our education just like our news-- matching our pre-existing notion of the universe. That can only be helpful, right?
LuFu   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 2:27:20 PM
Re: Professor Inflation
I'm planning to teach a course on "Wasting Time", my wife tells me I'm an expert at that.
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 2:33:14 PM
Re: Professor Inflation
@lufu- Great, I'll combine it with my class on "wasting your breath" by arguing with people on Facebook.
LuFu   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 2:36:59 PM
Re: Professor Inflation
@David - I already graduated from that one.
impactnow   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 6:58:55 PM
Free agent teaching
 

David I wonder doe this violate the teaching agreement for a professor at an existing University through non compete etc.? Are these all free agents?
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/29/2012 8:38:41 PM
Re: Free agent teaching
@impactnow- I suspect that it depends on the school and the position of the professor. I suspect it is in most tenured professor contracts that they can't teach elsewhere. I know adjunct professors personally that teach at many schools. I suspect they can do this without a probelm.

I'm also sure that there are some schols that never thought they'd have to worry about a situation like this and have gaping holes in their policies.
Don K   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/30/2012 12:48:05 AM
Re: Free agent teaching
If technology can dictate terms on education surely professors will not be needed to come to school but to advice and give notes and guidence via the web.
impactnow   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 9:47:22 PM
Re: Free agent teaching
David I know some tenured profs that teach at other schools like community colleges or professional schools and it doesn't violate their contract but this case seems like it would be very open moonlighting that could raise questions of integrity and competition. Maybe its better suited to other types of teachers such as professionals expanding into teaching.
CurtisFranklin   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 11:25:27 PM
Re: Free agent teaching
impactnow, I wonder whether professors will push for the ability to do this kind of teaching as universities try to limit tenure? It seems like an accomodation for one side should be met by an accomodation for the other, as well.
geeky   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 11:27:47 PM
Re: Free agent teaching
I think there are pros and cons on these systems. Everything the same but for education we do need to be careful in away since if we get it wrong or make a simple mistake the whole concept is useless.
kstaron   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/30/2012 11:51:19 AM
interesting avenue
There are a ton of overeducated people that would likely leap at the change to use their degree to earn some money and use their education so whatever low paying field realted job they have doesn'r feel like a waste. There is also a growing population of retirees that might want to do a class or two as a side project. This is an interesting avenue for those with a more entrepenurial mindset.
CMTucker   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/30/2012 5:10:41 PM
Re: interesting avenue
It is but would be a huge undertaking.
Sara Peters   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/30/2012 11:20:47 PM
true, but how?
Dave, as you say: "If you're the CIO or president of a school, you're going to have to find a way to keep putting yourself into the space or facilitating the contact between students and your own professors." So what's the answer here? Is it simply to increase/improve online classes -- for full-time and part-time students -- or is it more complicated than that?
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 8:54:35 AM
Re: true, but how?
Sara,

We can't afford to neglect the role that Aid[Federal as well as State Level]plays here.

As with each and every passing day,College costs get more and more expensive(thanks to their bloated and heavily over-compensated Staff) look forward to more and more students fighting for Student Aid and Grants[And I don't mean Loans].

Unfortunately even here;the trend(especially at the State Level) is to see Universities cut down on Student Aid because its easier to squeeze more Dollars(through increased Spending) from Students than it is to Squeeze more Dollars(through cuts in Spending) from Unionized Staff.

As for Loans-Given that most Student Debt can't be discharged in Bankruptcy and also the fact that large numbers of students are not exactly landing up with their Dream jobs(which enable them to pay off their Debts within 2-3 years after Graduation);look forwards to this being the least preferred option for Students going ahead.

Might as well borrow cash from Mom and Dad instead.

As for the role of the CIO at Universities;here it once again depends on Funds(or the lack of it) going ahead.If they have funds in hand and are not forced to increasingly doing more and more with less;we can see them embark on extremely ambitious ideas going forwards.

Regards

Ashish.

 
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 1:57:39 PM
Re: true, but how?
@Sara- I hope it is MORE than that. When Stephanie Reel from Hopkins and I were talking, she said that what her students wanted was technology that helped then get rid of the static of the school experience so they could spend more time face to face with professors.

The one thing online education can't offer is face to face interaction. If the university CIO can facilitate that (giving both students and professors time back from other duties) they may help more than just offering the same online course under a university umbrella.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/4/2013 2:08:55 PM
Re: true, but how?
David,

I knew I could count on you to always get the right Feedback on what makes a College Work(& what does'nt)!!!

 

Excellent,Excellent point you made here.

This Face to Face interaction is the USP of College Education.

The real question though is the one you asked-How can you reduce Professor's Other responsibilities in College so that they have more time for Student Interaction?

What about another issue-What if the Professor really is more interested in Research than in Teaching?

What can you do then?

 
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/4/2013 4:18:13 PM
Re: true, but how?
@eethtworkz- The research question depends I suppose on the university. Maybe college should accept (as some clearly do with their small teaching loads) that some of their faculty don't need to teach at all to make a contribution.

As for making face to face interaction easier, I think it is partially just about making paperwork faster. It is also about making research less labor dependent. There's probably some work with communications that can be done to lower travel time as well.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/5/2013 6:42:35 AM
Re: true, but how?
David,

Don't most Universities have TAs and RAs???

Is'nt that what they are supposed to do?

Don't get me wrong but why Do I get the feeling many-many Professors are way too pampered???
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/7/2013 10:12:23 AM
Re: true, but how?
Universities with PhD programs in a given subject mostly have TAs. But TAs are there to learn, too. I don't think I'd like to put more pressure down on them.

As for professors being pampered two things.

1) I think when we think of professors being pampered we think of Ivy League senior professors who teach only when they want, have endless research grants, and have already built a career. The vastmajority of professors have a very different lifestyle.

2) The goal isn't to free up the professors to give them more spa time. The goal is to give them more face to face time with students. That doesn't mean less work. it means more important work.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/7/2013 10:33:52 AM
Re: true, but how?
David,

yes I could'nt agree more.

The big thing that genuinely worries me today is that Universities are spending more on Administration than on Professors(&teaching) today thanks to bloated salaries for most of the Unionized Staff.

This is a real-real problem for most of Universities(especially State ones);which have seen their Budgets cut drastically since 2011.

But How do you dislodge the Unions?

Follow what Michigan did recently with their Right to Work Law?

 
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/7/2013 10:37:15 AM
Re: true, but how?
@eethtworkz- I don't think this is the place to necessarily discuss unions other than to say that there are plenty of schools spending lots of money on administration that are not at all affiliated with unions.

Something must be done about the increasing costs of running universities for sure. And the CIO can be at the front line of a lot of that.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/7/2013 10:56:56 AM
Re: true, but how?
David,

Not so sure.

If Universities do get either Subsidized IT equipment from Vendors or Taxbreaks from The Government;I really don't know where the Funds for IT upgrades[& CIO's improved role will come from].

Sorry to sound so pensive.
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/7/2013 11:07:51 AM
Re: true, but how?
@eethtworkz- Well, the education CIO can employ many tactics we've seen elsewhere to lower costs for schools. The physical plant is a major school cost. Implementation of smart technology there could help. Schools have tons of data that are held in legacy systems that for some cases literally still are on paper. Fixing that would help.

Labs and research facilities can be upated and data collection streamlined. We've covered a lot and will continue to cover more.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/10/2013 11:10:26 AM
Re: true, but how?
David,

 

What you are talking about is basically Automation.

And for that you need Money.

Thats's the whole problem today.

Wher is the Money for Cash-strapped Universities going to come from?

Then there is another issue about vested interests.

They won't let any change that drastically reduces their comfy jobs happen.
David Wagner   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/10/2013 2:57:24 PM
Re: true, but how?
Well, tuition has risen far above inflation because of increased costs. A CIO who can show ROI on limiting costs can find the money. If you can't show ROI, keep looking. We all know costs are rising too fast in comparison to actual costs. Univerisities are all being run poorly because they are run by academics instead of business folks. It is time for CIOs (or someone) to get this under control.
freespiritny25   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/16/2013 2:05:10 PM
Re: true, but how?
I agree. Technology has really transformed how we learn, teach, and view much of the world. The amount of information we can gain from technology is tenfold than what we can learn from one professor. However, I still think professors add a lot to delivering instruction, assessing student achievement, and providing constructive feedback.  I still think professors are an intricate component in teaching/learning, but they are not the only way to deliver/receive knowledge.
eethtworkz   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 7:02:22 AM
As this trend picks up steam;Except College Fees to fall sharply going ahead.
David,

True.

Disintermediation is a very real threat for most College Professors going ahead.

That and the fact that College Education costs an Arm and Leg going ahead means College Fees have no way to go but down in the future.

The reason,Student Debt Burden has now crossed over USD 1 Trillion and Delinquency rates are rising like there's no tommorow.

Here's a set of fresh perspectives on this issue.

 

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/12/online-education-and-college-degrees-at.html

http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2012/03/grading-student-loans.html

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-27/scariest-chart-quarter-student-debt-bubble-officially-pops-90-day-delinquency-rate-g
Anand   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 9:47:30 AM
Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
Each course on Professor Direct starts at $49 per student.


@David, thanks for the post. Only big question is whether students are willing to pay $49 when they can get lot of free online content like TEDx, coursera etc . Already many professors are already conducting classes on platforms like coursera for free.
mejiac   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 2:13:18 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
" students can't get a degree directly from a place like Professor Direct.".

I think this is key here. It doesn't matter what tecnology is being used, delivered and it's outcome, the real world still runs on a piece of paper that provides your educational credentials.

And this applies accross the word, so it would be bad if you got a degree that's only recognized within a specific market, and elsewhere is just an additional line in your resume.

I like the concept of the platform and it's potential to reach a far greater audience than ever imagined, but I think this is one of those cases where the world has to catch up with the technology.
kicheko   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 4:17:57 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
There's something about face to face that makes one feel like they really went to college. However i recognize the importance of online classes and have taken a few. The best plan is a hybrid of both online and offline at least for now, also for the reason of credibility like you mention. though there'll come a time fully online degrees will be as respected as fully offline ones.
Susan Nunziata   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 6:46:29 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@kichecko. Agreed there is great value in the in person interaction. Where I see the value here is in the post-graduate world. Professors at prestigious universities could make a fortune "moonlight" online for folks like main the workforce who would love to learn from them just for the sake of learning without necessarily needing the degree. I'd certainly pay good money for such an opportunity.
nimanthad   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 7:27:50 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
A good point but successful will it be ? Will the students have the same enthusiasm to learn like in the traditional way ?
Susan Nunziata   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 7:58:54 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@nimanthad. Perhaps they'll have more enthusiasm. There are many ways to learn and not all students embrace traditional classroom learning with enthusiasm.
nimanthad   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/26/2013 3:40:26 AM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
Yes Suzan I also support online learning but 1st I feel we must give it a trial run and check the response from both students and parents. If its positive then move forward.
Susan Nunziata   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/26/2013 8:50:43 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@Nimathad: There's definitely plenty of room for experimentation here. I'm particularly intrigued by what new worlds this could open up for disabled students who may have difficulty in a traditional classroom environment. 
nimanthad   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/31/2013 9:28:09 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
Susan I'm ok with it as long as the education is met properly with real standards
Susan Nunziata   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/31/2013 10:24:03 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
@Nimanthad: Agreed. Otherwise it could turn into a way to cheat people as we've seen with some for-profit educational organizations already.
nimanthad   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   2/4/2013 12:09:30 AM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
Yes that is possible. You need to monitor the progress if its being installed.
CurtisFranklin   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 11:23:47 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
nimanthad, the students I've seen (including my own son) are at least as enthusiastic as tradtional students. The experience is certainly different, but I think it can be of high quality nonetheless. 
mejiac   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/2/2013 9:20:33 AM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
(First Post of the year....)

@kicheko,

Agreed, a hybrid is a good way to go for the time being. And yes, given time online would be the prefered method, and it's a matter of gaining acceptance as the perfered method.
Skr2011   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 2:45:39 PM
Re: Re : Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
The cost would be a lot more then $49. That is just what Professor Direct gets. If the teacher wanted to make any money they would have to charge something and include the cost of any materials.
JPoe   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 12:27:18 PM
But Students still need schools...
I don't think that any reasonable person would argue that there isn't some advantage to teaching remotely, or offering educatoin virtually, etc.

The problem(s) come from looking at this as an 'only' solution; it's not. In other words, the new technologies and platforms that we can leverage will improve education, but not eliminate traditional forms of teaching and learning. There will always be a need for on-site classes.

The good news is that the combination of all this stuff alllows for a better educated workforce and citizenry. As long as you are one of the lucky ones, and have access to the technologies, etc.
Skr2011   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 2:18:22 PM
Re: But Students still need schools...
@JPoe I am a college professor and I can tell you there will always be a subset of students that either want or need face to face interaction with their teacher. Best is a combination of online and physical interaction.
JPoe   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 4:10:09 PM
Re: But Students still need schools...
@Skr2011,

Right. That was sort of my point. The idea is that the best outcome is one that leverages the best parts of both models.
nimanthad   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   12/31/2012 7:30:40 PM
Re: But Students still need schools...
Exactly J Poe . Only the best will survive and of it does seething good for education plus 1 from me
michaelsumastre   Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore   1/1/2013 10:15:44 AM
Professors Don't Need Schools Anymore
I haven't looked into Professor Direct comprehensively yet, but at the sound of it, it could definitely set the trend, and it's going to be a whole new way of interpreting online classes and degrees. To some extent, it's good for potential students especially those who are living in other countries or who are tied to work and other responsibilities. I'd like to believe professors are going to be "more affordable" than regular online education since students directly deal with the teachers. Honestly, it's something I'll seriously consider or look into. 


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