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Reading: The Corporations Devouring American Colleges – The Huffington Post

Source A review of capitalist hunger, complete with ant colony metaphor.  
If there’s a fifth wave of for-profit scandal on its way, the most likely candidates are colleges where OPMs threaten to seize control of their hosts, like the fungus that turns carpenter ants into six-legged zombies.  
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Reading: Education in the Corporate Oz | ACADEME BLOG

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Online Ed is a swindle. MnSCU endorses it. Corporate culture endorses it. Some faculty endorse it. Even students endorse it when it serves them to side-step a requirement. Part of the swindle has public ed selling off public resources to corporate interests under the guise of filling a gap. But the gap is between solid face to face education and lower quality DE. It can’t be filled, but there is money to be made in selling filler.

This swindle lies behind Carey’s essay. To save money, many universities are moving more heavily than ever before into online education, charging as much, sometimes, for their new courses as they do for their more costly (to the institutions) on-campus courses. Even public institutions are involved: They charge the same for online and hybrid (partly online and partly classroom) courses as they do for classroom-based ones, though it costs much less for the institutions to offer such courses. This saves so much money that the colleges and universities are loathe to signal that they are providing a lower-standard product through their online and hybrid catalogs. So, they maintain the fiction by charging the same for both. They want to keep that money coming in; they don’t feel they can afford to admit, through a separate pricing structure, that the online and hybrid courses are not on the same level of instruction as what goes on when the focus of education is at least three hours a week of personal “interface.”

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bookmarks for August 20th, 2009

  • WikiResearch / Improving Academic Writing Skills – Thorough research with a diverse group of students. The reach the usual conclusions but wisely emphasize moderation of claims. Representative anecdotes. "Through collaboration and iteration, we were able to significantly increase and improve the effectiveness of our use of wikis in writing-intensive classes. We found that although the wikis were a compelling tool for teaching writing and although students improved their confidence in and ability to write, we could not attribute either of these effects directly to our use of wikis. Instead, wikis facilitated the methods of teaching writing we already practiced, such as multiple drafts, self and peer review, and writing for audiences other than the teacher. We found wikis most useful as a tool for student collaboration and were delighted by the community building effects of this collaboration. – (wikis writing research twwt )
  • Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com – Meh – (de distanceed onlineed education )
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bookmarks for August 15th, 2009 through August 20th, 2009