CA Union Confronts Online Education Offerings

In an attempt to raise funds, the University of California is developing a pilot online instruction project. However, UC-AFT questions the assumption that online courses will be less expensive and therefore become revenue sources for the University.

"We also do not believe that online courses as a platform will be able to maintain the quality of instruction expected by UC students."

This follows a California Watch article from July that says that as California's community colleges add more online classes to their offerings, a new report from the Community College Research Center has found that students are more likely to fail or withdraw from online courses than from traditional ones.

"The report, which comes from the Teachers College at Columbia University and was written by Di Xu and Shanna Smith Jaggars, recommends that colleges bolster support systems to increase students' success rates in these classes."

Would we rather have a more affordable product for more people or arbitrarily protected and unwarrantedly posh jobs? asks Tina Korbe at Hot Air.

"Frankly, it's astonishing to me that a knee-jerk defensiveness of lecturers' jobs is the best this union can do."

Korbe believes that the fight against online education is about jobs rather than the quality of education, or for a revival of a university as it was originally conceived.

"In many ways, we abandoned the concept of such a place as soon as we made it seem like a societal imperative for everyone — even those who have little interest in academics — to earn a B.A., when we started subsidizing college loans, when we started inflating the cost of college tuition."

She adds:

"Let supply and demand determine the cost of an online college education and an in-person college education and schools will no longer be faced with a "bloodletting." Best of all, educationally speaking, lecturers who truly want to foster an academic environment — and aren't just looking for a job with tenure — would only have to interact face-to-face with students who also want to contribute to such an environment."

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