More on the value-added of teachers

For some time I’ve been musing about the role of the faculty member in the university of the 21st century.  In a world of open content, what is the value-added of the teacher?  A couple of my musings are here and here.

For readers interested in this topic, I’d like to call your attention to a recent post by Josh Kim.  Josh writes about how he applied to teach for the University of Phoenix, and despite being well qualified on objective grounds (experienced online course developer and instructor, Ph.D., etc.) his application was rejected.  He then goes on to speculate about why he was rejected.  (Bear in mind that we don’t know why Josh was rejected.)  The comment stream is also very interesting, despite having a number of predictable responses.   (The comment that particularly caught my attention was “the UoP approach is a business model predicated on an inexhaustible supply of instructors.”)

Based on Josh’s post and the comments, U of P seems to have adopted the approach I argued against here.  I don’t know much about U of P except that they enroll a huge number of students.  Josh states: “the U of P methodology for developing courses and training faculty is well known for creating consistently positive outcomes.”  I’d like to hear more about the evidence that this approach is effective.   I’m especially curious whether the assessments of student learning measure lower level or higher level thinking.  Anyone have some insights on this?

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1 Response to More on the value-added of teachers

  1. Janice says:

    UofP and other places in this same ilk don’t want content experts to teach courses, they want course delivery facilitators to serve up the pre-determined content.

    While I’ve worked with online and distance ed for about twenty years, including creating two courses, I’m always happy that our system allows the instructor to build off of that course skeleton in their own ways. That ensures the students benefit from their engaged expertise which is what university-level instruction should be about.

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