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Ellen Schrecker, in Forbes, describes the process whereby tenured professors become contingent instructors who in turn become internet traffic directors.

She begins with a story.

… California State University‚Äôs Bakersfield campus decided to cut costs by replacing all the sections of the remedial mathematics course in the fall of 2009 with an online computer program overseen by a single instructor. Unfortunately substituting the Internet for personal contact with a classroom teacher proved disastrous, especially for the 700-plus ill-prepared undergraduates who needed intensive work to bring their math skills to a college level. When these students took their final exams only about 40% passed, compared with a 75% success rate the prior year.

One instructor, 700 students. Online. What could go wrong?

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4 Responses to “From tenured to contingent to gone.”

  1. Bill Gleason Says:

    Well there is a solution to this which will be shortly forthcoming…

    Make the test easier. Obviously the students learned the material using this best of all possible teaching method. Therefore the test is at fault. Make it easier.

    Diane Ravitch has commented extensively on this solution as used for New York City public schools.

  2. Blackboard is an instrument of oppression. « More or Less Bunk Says:

    […] pro- smart tech, and anti- dumb tech. I read University Diaries regularly and laugh at posts like this one. I’ve also written about how to bring film clips into your lectures also use PowerPoint for […]

  3. Townsend Harris Says:

    Twenty classroom sections overstuffed with 35 students and an instructor cost more than one virtual instructor for 700 online students. Always look on the bright side of life.

  4. Shannon Says:

    In addition to being puzzled about who thought this was a good idea and the reasoning process he/she used, I’m intrigued as to why CSU-Bakersfield would even offer remedial classes. If you can’t hack four-year-college-level math, you need to go to a community college for a year or two, gain the necessary knowledge, and then reapply to a BA-granting program.

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