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universities, we should remind ourselves that there’s a whole other world of legitimate education out there, one which students are more and more ably defending.

Here, in an opinion piece titled Fordham Rightly Resists Offering Online Classes, a Fordham student gets it said. His writing’s a bit awkward, but he gets it said. Excerpts:

… The foundations on which Jesuit universities, particularly Fordham, have been built upon are not in accordance with online courses. Though it may be convenient for students, it does not provide the degree of education we are paying for. The realm of learning and studying is completely altered under these conditions, with a less hands on approach.

If Fordham were to offer online courses, its credibility in teaching would be strongly questioned. Even if a student was able to get beyond the idea of no personal interaction with professors and no thought-provoking ideas of classmates, there is still no guarantee that the quality of education in the online classes will be up to par with that which Fordham instills.

… Sure, online classes can reach a larger amount [should be number] of people, especially those looking to attend part time. This, however, compromises the integrity of the order devoted to education by lacking a creation of relationships and the true development of the whole person that cura personalis stands on…

Serious, legitimate education isn’t just for Jesuits.

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2 Responses to “As we follow the super-sordid for-profit online …”

  1. Richard Says:

    I was perturbed by the blandness with which Glyn Davis (Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University) said the following, in one of this year’s Boyer Lectures. It takes nerve or slight doziness, or both, to regard early modern humanist academies and the University of Phoenix as comparable in nature or effect. I know breezy generalities should be given some licence, but it seemed like culpable drivel.

    “Yet change is always creative and destructive. Just as the birth of the republic of letters spelt the end of the medieval university system, the technologies that allow universities to become global institutions also test the familiar style of campus education. As the web makes knowledge widely available, so it undercuts the traditional authority of professors. What was once largely a public or not-for-profit activity has attracted large and successful private competitors. Mail-order courses always existed on the margins of higher learning, but the combination of new technology and sophisticated private provision has created commercial phenomena such as the private University of Phoenix. These global enterprises package for a worldwide market programs once offered only by traditional public universities.

    As new humanist academies arose in the sixteenth century to challenge the scholastic institutions, so new forms of learning confront received wisdom about what a university is, what it does and how it works”.

  2. Bill Gleason Says:

    Similar dreck, from our Provost:

    “In this message, I will share some thoughts with you on recent initiatives regarding the stewardship of our intellectual resources. As many of you realize, we live in a knowledge-based economy in which our fundamental mission as a University must be deployed in service of the broader transnational learning process.”

    Bill Gleason, U of Minnesota

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