There are some dramatic headlines making the rounds today in the edtech world. The latest school system to adopt online learning, the University of California system, has announced a pilot program for lower-division online courses powered by Udacity.
To most of us, this is not huge news nor is it surprising. But it seems to have taken the tech blogs (TechCrunch in particular) by storm as they start talking about the end of higher education as we know it. Below are bullet points brought to you by our friends at Education Dive and then a few excerpts of the TechCrunch article.
It’s worth knowing this stuff as it’s what your colleagues and administrators are going to be talking about today.
- Backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the California State University system today announced a pilot program for $150 lower-division and remedial online courses from Udacity at its San Jose State University campus.
- Over half of incoming SJSU students don’t meet basic requirements and only 48% ever graduate, and a recent EdX pilot found that blending SJSU’s courses with world-class online lectures lowered the number of students receiving a C or lower by 31%.
- If successful, the pilot may change the face of college, with lower-tier and remedial lectures replaced entirely by less-expensive online courses.
From The TechCrunch Article:
Today, the largest university system in the world, the California State University system, announced a pilot for $150 lower-division online courses at one of its campuses — a move that spells the end of higher education as we know it. Lower-division courses are the financial backbone of many part-time faculty and departments (especially the humanities). As someone who has taught large courses at a University of California, I can assure readers that my job could have easily been automated. Most of college–the expansive campuses and large lecture halls–will crumble into ghost towns as budget-strapped schools herd students online. …
Predicted Timeline Of Major Higher Ed Changes
TechCrunch author Gregory Ferenstein lays out a predicted timeline of how he think the ‘fallout’ will go after the launch of this online program in California. Only time will tell if it comes true:
- Pilot succeeds, expands to more universities and classes
- Part-time faculty get laid off, more community colleges are shuttered, extracurricular college services are closed, and humanities and arts departments are dissolved for lack of enrollment (science enrollment increases–yay!?)
- Graduate programs dry up, once master’s and PhD students realize there are no teaching jobs. Fewer graduate students means fewer teaching assistants and, therefore, fewer classes
- Competency-based measures begin to find the online students perform on par with, if not better than, campus-based students. Major accredited state college systems offer fully online university degrees, then shutter more and more college campuses
- A few Ivy League universities begin to control most of the online content, as universities all over the world converge toward the classes that produce the highest success rates
- In the near future, learning on a college campus returns to its elite roots, where a much smaller percentage of students are personally mentored by research and expert faculty
What do you think? Is Gregory’s timeline accurate? Will Udacity start taking on more courses in other higher ed systems?