The adjunct crisis – an infographic | Progressive Geographies

Sep 13, 2013 by

Described as a ‘crisis’, but likely a deliberate structural adjustment in North American higher education.

via The adjunct crisis – an infographic | Progressive Geographies.

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  • Chris Sorochin

    Yup. Have lived this for the past 32 years.

  • Jason Mittell

    Where do get “$120,000 average for T-T professors”? Maybe average for full professors at top schools, but that requires around 20+ years of experience to reach.

  • Dionne Bensonsmith

    Great infographic and it definitely sums up my experience during the last 2 1/2 years…I have decided to leave the adjunct “trap” only to find that I am pulled back in because having a PHD is a hindrance on the non-academic job market. This is mostly due to the fact that ppl do not know what type of experience we have, and most of our applied skills were obtained/exploited without formal compensation or the proper job title (most PHD’s have done administrative work, advising, grant writing, program management on service committees, data collection and analysis, recruiting, programming, policy writing, conference planning ect…we just were not compensated b/c it was all subsumed under “other duties as assigned”).

    I would love to see another infographic discussing exactly where the money goes in highered. Tuition has gone up, faculty positions have been cut, most schools rely on underpaid adjuncts, and those faculty who do have “full time” positions are being asked to perform more administrative duties with no compensation…so “where’s the money Lebowski?”

  • catherine liu

    $120K a year for professor salaries seems inflated: the salary differential between public/private schools is stark and even starker is the difference between disciplines. Econ assistant profs make what full profs in the humanities make. I think the other numbers here are very good – it’s just good to make things are accurate as possible in order to make the case about the manufactured crisis as persuasive as possible.

  • aprudy

    Like the others, I have experience in every aspect of this except the $120K claim. I’ve had two T-T jobs each started at half that and it’d take decades (that I don’t have) to get anywhere near $120K here in my second one.

  • Razbone

    A few things:
    1) I agree that 120k is way, way too high for tenure-track profs. I know maybe 3 professors who make that, and they’re already tenured (at one of the largest universities in the country). But tenure-TRACK, meaning “not yet having tenure,” seems to be anywhere between 45k and 70k.
    2) I guess it depends where you are. I’ve adjuncted at a few schools and now have a full-time gig at a good university where I get full benefits. I have a few friends who got full time jobs recently at community colleges, making over 50k a year with full benefits. Also, it has been incredibly easy for me to find jobs. When I need to pick up extra classes, there’s always some available at a nearby school. Maybe the secret is living in an area where there are lots of schools?
    3) The great thing about being a college teacher is that YOU’RE A COLLEGE TEACHER. Even if you don’t get money, you get respect and prestige and you get access to a bunch of resources that secretaries do not. Being a secretary sucks–I’ve worked as an admin assistant and a personal assistant. I’d rather be poor and happy than slightly less poor and miserable. I have a friend who worked full-time while she got her degree, while I learned how to be a teacher. Now she’s still working full-time and I’m teaching full time. Her job still sucks and I would’ve shot myself if I had it. Being an adjunct is way more fun (plus, again, I have a pretty nice little job–I don’t know how everyone else is doing, but my gig is pretty sweet).
    4) Who are these people who are PAYING for graduate school? Didn’t anyone ever tell them NOT to do that? If you’re paying, then you have no business being there. This is a serious piece of advice that a friend gave me before I went to get my master’s degree. Paying for grad school marks you as sort of a chump. Don’t do it. If you don’t get money the first time you apply, wait a year and try again. Then again. Until you get paid to go.
    5) Lookit–if you want to be a college teacher and you’re not willing to move around the country a bit, then you’re going to have a very, very difficult time. Move to where the jobs are; they’re not going to come to you. Find a city where there are lots of colleges and just start adjuncting. Eventually, you’ll get a good job. But if you live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and don’t want to move, then you have only one choice and you can’t complain when you don’t get your dream job. Be smart, people. There are literally thousands of teaching jobs that have been posted over the last few months, not to mention the jobs that go unposted.
    6) You do have a better shot at a tenure-track job with a PhD. If you peruse job postings, you’ll notice that most of them want a PhD candidate (now, even at some community colleges). Without a PhD, you have NO shot. And, again, you should be getting your PhD for free. If you’re not, you are officially a tool (barring extreme circumstances).

  • Jason Mittell

    Numbers of administrators has ballooned over past 2 decades, and there are not many adjunct admins! See https://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/growth-in-administrators-outstrips-growth-in-faculty-members/26283 for the numbers. Additionally, most public institutions have had massive funding cuts from their states, so there is less money coming in.

  • Petra Deason

    Maybe my math is off but $750 + $35 = $785. $900 – 785 = $115, not $10. Still not enough to live off of but with such a glaring error, it makes me doubt other statistics in the slide. Also, it’s pretty foolish for ANYONE to earn a Masters or Ph.D. and not at least know the grim reality that faces them.

  • G Mills

    $35/WEEK x 4 weeks = $140/month. $750 + $140 = $890. $900 – $890 = $10.

  • antiutopia

    And it’s not true that adjuncts work harder than T-T professors. They teach more students, yes. If you think that TT profs only teach, you don’t know anything about the profession. Teaching is the easy part.

  • Tina Pusse

    Well – if there are 3 Ph.D students per full professor on average at any time, it’s clear that only one (!) will, statistically, replace him or her once. Not one of the three, but one of all (s)he had during 30 years in the job. Because that is how rarely these positions become vacant – but that is hardly a secret, is it? The problem that I see is that the adjuncts don’t have a functioning union, to protect them from abhorrent exploitation. They are all rivals, each of them hoping to be the lucky one next time round – and therefore there is only little solidarity. It’s a viscous circle. However as a researcher from the US or the UK, you can go anywhere else in the world as long as you are willing to learn some basics of your hosts country’s language.

  • https://www.facebook.com/lisa.graziano.39 Lisa Graziano

    I agree with Jason. $120,000 average is preposterous. In the top-paying fields at Princeton University perhaps (I know a prof there, big name, high-paying field, and doesn’t make that much–and Princeton is the highest-paying university in the US). Someone made a mistake somewhere in this analysis. In my field, average is about 1/3 of that. If that’s an average, then there must be a huge proportion of faculty making a million or more in salary (which there aren’t–any) to balance out the large proportion making $40K or less. I bet this analysis used administrative salaries of people who used to be faculty members–deans, presidents.

  • Emily H.

    “Tenure-TRACK, meaning ‘not yet having tenure.’” Tenure-track means anyone who’s on the tenure track, including people who have tenure. A high proportion of people on the tenure track end up getting tenure, and their careers as tenured professors can last decades. It would be silly to exclude them from this average salary calculation.

    “The great thing about being a college teacher is that YOU’RE A COLLEGE TEACHER.” Oh come on. Teaching college can be very rewarding, but it’s not charity work. People with a specialized skill set who spend years training for a profession should be paid accordingly. No one expects doctors to work cheap because “you’re helping people!” Every profession is less rewarding if you lack job security & have to struggle to make rent.

    Also, most people who enter academia want to publish original research in their field, not (just) teach undergraduates. Teaching lots of courses to earn a living may leave no time for writing and research.

  • ckckc

    most admin people have degrees now. Maybe not the 40,50, and 60 women who hold the positions now, but the young people hired do. My wife’s first job out of her MA was as an admin person. Job only required a college program, but basically no
    w has a minimum 4-year degree requirement

  • Jenna

    “you get respect and prestige”

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of all the hatred and disrespect I see constantly aimed at those in the teaching profession.

  • xandtrek

    I do love the job, but have tried (due to the infographic reasons here) to get other work. My past administrative work is too far in the past, and I doubt I can get work as an accountant (another past career) because of the amount of money I owe in student loans. I can’t even get on the short-list for a tenure-track job even though I have great experience, technology knowledge, references, and reviews. I am stuck on the adjunct treadmill with no way off. But apparently I’m not alone.

  • AF Stanford

    It seems to me there’s an elephant in the room. Why do PhD programs accept so many students, knowing the dismal job outlook?

    As for the salary issue, I’m a full professor at a private institution and I’m not at $120,000. My field isn’t a highly paid one (English), but most fields aren’t highly paid. Stats seem off.

  • stellarvoyager

    “Average” (mean? median?) salary for adjuncts is $20k/year, yet 4 out of 5 adjuncts make less than 20k/year? That sounds fishy to me. Also, a 45% enrollment increase for full-time students over the last 10 years (2003 – 2013?), compared with a 28% increase in TT faculty from 1975 – 2007 is not particularly informative. They need to use the same time period for both groups to have an apples-to-apples comparison.

  • Lawrence

    Such views show a problem with higher ed, in my opinion.

    So many professors see the teaching part as a chore. Teaching is easy. Teaching in a way that will engage students and promote thought is far more difficult. Yeah, I get it…research is awesome and the bread and butter of a professor’s reputation. Something can be said for a good teacher though.

    I say this having completed a b.s. and almost an m.s. at a tier one research university.

  • Tommaso Leso

    Because they need under-paid adjuncts.

  • alice_zents

    I wonder why a better comparison would not be to tenure-track teachers? And I wonder how many department secretaries the person who put the poster together is really familiar with? “Didn’t pay a cent” for their current jobs, perhaps, but lots of them are paying their tuition on the way to a degree, or another degree…checking information with local sources, or disclosing what institution(s) the data comes from, might be helpful. And the focus on the “dream job” notion seems kind of superficial…otherwise interesting, though.

  • antiutopia

    Neh, Lawrence, you just don’t get it, and of course you don’t because you’ve probably never taught a college class, and have certainly never designed a college class, or a curriculum for a degree program. When I say “teaching is the easy part,” I mean it’s the most enjoyable part of the job. Teaching in a way that will engage students and promote thought is also easy and enjoyable — that just means that you know how to teach. Why would that be harder than straight lecture? I would have to do a lot more work to prepare 50 to 75 minutes of lectures for every class than I do to prepare 15-20 minutes of lecture per class plus activities that get students engaged with the material and talking to each other about it.

    Research is enjoyable too, as is writing (at times), but if you think research, writing, and teaching are pretty much it for a T-T instructor’s job, again, that’s only because you don’t know what they do. There are massive amounts of time sunk into administrative tasks — from advising to committee work to grant writing, not to mention actual supervision of graduate students — not to mention the reading that one has to do just to keep up with one’s field beyond research. It’s very hard to be a TT faculty member and read just for pleasure…at all.

    I’m currently working on a grant. I’m going to have to do more work for this grant than I did to design the master’s degree curriculum at my current institution.

    Yes, standing in front of a classroom is the easy part.

  • jlk7e

    But there are not 3 PhD students per full professor. The large majority of universities do not have PhD programs.

  • MarilynWeberGC

    Former adjunct, current secretary. SORRY, all! But FWIW, we get no respect and don’t approach $120K either. And plenty of my colleagues have at least a Master’s.

  • Lawrence

    I don’t understand, are you looking for sympathy? Do you think that your job is the only one in America which requires paper pushing? Were you unaware that a career in academia required large amounts of reading? I stand by my original statement. You seem to equate “easy” with less time consuming.

    You are absolutely right, I have never taught a college class. However, I’ve had more than a few professors in my undergraduate and graduate studies who seem to take a similar approach as you. Now, I have only been a lowly high school social studies teacher, but I find your assertion that teaching is easy to be a bit concerning. My evidence is only anecdotal, but I don’t know that I’ve met or had many great teachers who’ve said it is easy. You think you have onerous paperwork? Spend a year working in a public school.

    And of course, the far more salient point is that there are many people with the qualifications who would happily do what you do for an nth of the job security. Try to work from the perspective of someone who isn’t in academia, or in a tenure-track position.

  • antiutopia

    Lawrence:

    Because you have never taught a college class, you have no way to understand the actual referents involved in my description of my job. No, it’s not “paper pushing.” No, I’m not complaining about reading. That’s why I’m in this job. No, I don’t want your sympathy. You’re too completely stupid — as demonstrated by your commitment to an opinion that you acknowledge is based upon complete ignorance of the field — for your opinion to matter.

    Like many stupid and ignorant people, however, you still think your opinion matters, and thus think you have the right to argue with people who actually have direct personal experience within the subject at hand.

    I had a 17 year career in the private sector before entering academia and have worked within academia in a variety of teaching and administrative capacities. I have worked as an adjunct and now work as a professor, and my administrative jobs have ranged all over the place.

    I do not currently hold a tenure track position, but I do the work of tenure track faculty. You are fundamentally ignorant of me as a person, but still feel free to pontificate about the details of the job that you think I have.

    At any rate, since I -actually know what goes on-, my intent in posting here is to dispel ignorance by people who, like you, are ignorant but who, unlike you, care about getting facts from people who know them.

    Adjuncts do not work as hard as tenure track professors.

    Teaching is the most enjoyable part of the job.

    Here are estimates for workload, based upon humanities courses.

    An adjunct who is teaching six classes at three different institutions with twenty students each (120 students) with 20 pages of written work to grade per student has to grade a maximum of 2400 pages per semester. That’s an enormous workload. This adjunct may or may not have to do any reading for this teaching. This adjunct does not do any advising, committee work, research, or writing as a part of his or her job, and actually can’t if this is his or her actual workload.

    A tenure track professor teaching a 2-2 load has to grade 50 pages of writing per student per semester with about 30 students per semester, so that’s 1500 pages of grading. S/he also may have two or three Master’s theses to review (another 300 pages) and perhaps three to four doctoral theses (700 pages). Suddenly we’re back up around that magic number — 2400 or so pages of writing to review — with just a 2-2 teaching load.

    But then this full time professor has a number of professional commitments within his or her institution, such as advising and committee work (committee work can involve intensive institutional research. It is not “paper pushing”), and curriculum and course development.

    S/he also has a research agenda and publication deadlines to meet.

    S/he also has professional commitments outside the institution, such as reviewing book manuscripts for publication, serving on professional organizations, tenure review for faculty at other institutions, etc.

    There are also additional student commitments beyond teaching, such as academic advising, writing letters of recommendation, sponsoring student groups, etc.

    So yes, TT faculty work much harder than adjunct faculty. Now let’s talk about the realities of salary here. You understand that everyone says the graphic is wrong about avg. salary, right? And it is wrong. First year Assist. Profs. make maybe $45-$65K per year on average.

    Now if you’re really willing to do all of this work for a fraction of the salary, you’re not only an ignorant fool, and you’re not only a stupid fool, but you’re an ignorant and stupid TOOL too. Good luck with that. You deserve what happens to you.

  • Joe Zimsen

    It’s called outliers. If the mean is $20k, and 4/5 adjuncts earn less than that, then the other 20% earn significantly more than $20k/year. Pretty simple statistics, really.
    And it’s actually easy to extrapolate a valid comparison of a 10 year increasing trend of 45% to 32 year growth trend of 28%. Enrollment increased an average of 4.5% per year over the given period, while faculty numbers increased only 0.87% per year. Does that make sense?

  • librarianheather

    There are many secretaries with Bachelors degrees (and, I’m willing to bet, with higher degrees)–and the corresponding debt. Further, I’ve been seeing an awful lot of part-time secretary job openings lately, so no benefits there, either.

  • Joe Zimsen

    Checking Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professors_in_the_United_States#Salary, $120k is pretty high. This article provides median salaries, not the mean, but chances are slim there is a huge deviation between the mean and the median. Still, it shows that the average salary for Assistant, Associate and Full Professors is in the neighborhood of $80k, or about 4x the average adjunct instructor.
    On the other hand, the Chronicle of Higher Ed provides a very different picture, more in line with what’s in the infographic, https://chronicle.com/article/faculty-salaries-data-2012/131431#id=144050. Using their data of median salary, in which they include those of Instructor rank, we can extrapolate a rough estimate of the average salary to be $118k. Leaving out the Instructor rank, as Wikipedia did, the average skews higher, to more than $138k.
    Of course, these articles do not provide insight about the sample size to accurately weigh the median salary of each T-T level, but it remains clear that T-T professors make much more than adjunct instructors. Even if a T-T prof is not near the median over all, their earning potential is incredibly larger than their adjunct colleagues who have little to no opportunity for advancement. The point of the graphic remains valid, regardless of the precision and accuracy of the data they used to compile it.
    So, tenure track professors, please, for the love of mike, stop complaining about your situation here. No one is blaming you for the inequity in salaries. The authors are simply exposing it. The only thing is, as committee members and part time administrators at your institutions, you can be influential to the condition of the adjunct faculty. Which, I might add, serves your interest by maintaining the prestige, respect and quality (and salary) of your profession.

  • Joe Zimsen

    Wow. I understand your choice of screen name, Antiutopia. You’re the rare breed of humanities professor who still clings to a Darwinian social structure. You believe you made it to your position because you are actually smarter and more talented than everyone else, and you earned everything on your own. Ayn Rand must be very proud of you. Congrats

    I just have one question for you. If you’re so superior to me and Lawrence, why do you hide behind your screen name? Why don’t you attach your name and institution to your frothing and rabid posts? Clearly, you are smart enough to know what would happen to the value of your reputation if your department chair and students know what you really think. But that’s an economic calculation a chimp could make. A chimp who despises the rest of his troop for chumps is quickly torn to literal bits by the others. It’s Darwinian.

  • thomas walker

    Mmmmmm. Where’s the solidarity with secretaries? One has to question what secretaries you’re talking about–with their “great job stability” and great working conditions and great pay. Where are those secretary jobs, and how do I get one?

    I’m concerned that the otherwise spot on criticisms of the treatment of adjunct labor have a tendency to lose sight of solidarity with the myriad other workers and academic support staff whose labor, and thus life, is also being restructured and degraded as the university is transformed through neoliberalism. And worse, I think some of this stuff smacks of the worst kind of condescension; i.e., secretaries somehow OUGHT to be doing worse than adjuncts, or that they’re the bottom of the ladder, and so on.

    Universities are actually squeezing everyone, through cutbacks to benefits, layoffs, part-timing, and privatization. I hope that adjuncts get a handle on this and stand up–together–with the other affected people, and don’t view themselves as somehow special simply for the fact that they carry an advanced degree alone.

  • lambert

    Obviously a structural issue, just in the same way that permanently high disemployment and immiseration is the preferred policy outcome of the elites for all workers. But don’t worry, adjuncts! Soon you’ll be forced to buy junk insurance!

  • lambert

    Yep. Of course, since immiseration is the goal, they don’t even make it easy for you to expatriate. So far as I can tell — and I could be wrong, because the ObamaCare help desk is what it is — you don’t get subsidies for individual insurance if you’re an expat. Nor does Medicare apply, even if you paid taxes your whole life, you’ve still got to be in US territory to get care.

  • stellarvoyager

    I said that the distribution sounded fishy, not that it is mathematically impossible. In fact, the same graph also described $900/month = $10,800/year as a “probable” adjunct experience. At 3 classes per term, this would work out to $16,200/year. So if these numbers are “probable” outcomes, placing $10,800 as the tenth percentile seems reasonable. Now what would the top quintile have to earn so that the mean of the distribution is $20k? One possible distribution is as follows:

    10.8, 12.1, 13.5, 14.8, 16.7, 18.1, 19.0, 19.7, 25.2, 50.1. Mean = 20.0

    Sure it’s possible, just a lot more right-skewed than I would have expected. My institution has the highest paid adjuncts in the state, and the top step of the salary schedule is about $1000 per credit. At 0.8 FTE, this works out to $36K/year. So yes, it does seem fishy to me, especially when the graph suggests that $900/month is a common adjunct experience.

    And your point about extrapolation is not valid. You are treating the growth rates as if they are constant over each time period, which is not the case. For instance, there was a record enrollment surge at public colleges after the 2008 economic collapse, and that surge persisted for about 4 years. Thus, the period from 2003 – 2013 would include all of that surge, while the period from 1975 – 2007 would not include any of it. Moreover, a 4-year surge over a 10-year time period will have a much more pronounced effect on the annual average growth rate than using a longer time period would, so using a shorter time period that includes all of the surge makes the average annual growth rate bigger. Pretty simple math, really. Since this use of the data is misleading, it is necessary to use the same time period for both groups. Does that make sense?

  • tccstend

    Most successful T-T college teachers I know, were helped up the ladder by having an excellent mentor. Outside of great grades, that is one of the most important agenda items to work on during undergraduate years. Perhaps there should be a career development class about how to establish a formal mentor relationship with an influential mentor. Even a complete horse’s ass, (as mentors go), can provide a student with serious benefits. One of the ways a great prof is judged is by where his/her research assistants get jobs. I’m surprised that more people aren’t aware of this critical piece of information for academics.

  • tccstend

    And we all know that the prof who gets 3 “Great Teacher” awards in a row has doomed his/her career.

  • tccstend

    While I agree with you fully, see my comment above about “Great Teacher’ awards. I wouldn’t send one of my kids to a research university for their undergraduate years on a bet.

  • tccstend

    At Princeton there is no standard rate income for any particular position. It is totally cut throat. You get what you are able to negotiate and you negotiate at every level. (It is instructive that 40 % of all Princeton undergraduates, across the board, end up go to Wall Street.)

  • Joe Z.

    LOL. It does make sense. Unfortunately, you’ve fallen in the classic trap of over thinking this issue. A general trend is pretty much is all we need to understand the disparity of the supply and demand for professors. While there is growing demand for educators, the system has met that demand with adjunct faculty instead of with tenure track professors.

    And by the way, making up numbers to fit the scenario does not actually improve the accuracy of the data. The article gives us certain data, which isn’t very precise, and it doesn’t need to be. Occam’s Razor does not condone inventing hypothetical data and distributions to fill in the blanks. Real science requires us to analyze the data to uncover information that will lead us to a conclusion. Not the other way around.

  • stellarvoyager

    I agree with your statements about adjunct faculty and the trends in higher ed. I just think that the case has to be made in an intellectually honest way. Presenting information in a misleading way does nothing to further the argument that adjuncts deserve better pay and working conditions. I have little doubt that they could have shown that enrollment growth outpaced TT job growth from 2003 – 2013, so why not just compare the variables over that interval, and make the case far more persuasively?

    As for the income distribution, I just threw those numbers out there as an example to illustrate just how skewed the distribution would have to be in order for all of the claims in the graph to be consistent. I would think that many readers would see “4 out of 5 make less than $20K” and “the average salary is $20K”, and think that something strange is up with those numbers. They could have reported the median salary, which better represents the pay of a “typical” adjunct, especially in the case of a strongly skewed distribution. Saying something like, “half of all adjuncts make less than XXX, and 4 out of 5 make less than $20k/year” drives home the point much more convincingly.

  • Lawrence

    The supreme irony of course, while people quibble on the internet about adjunct versus tenure track positions, MOOCs will soon displace a large number of academics, save those at the most elite institutions.

    In any event, we’ll agree to disagree. I find it somewhat ironic that a purported academic must lean so heavily on logical fallacies to support their argument. I should only hope that you don’t call your own students stupid because they happen to have a different viewpoint than yours. Why you believe that only a college professor can have an opinion about the state of academia is beyond me. I’m a consumer of the supposed knowledge (or in your case, truth claims) created by researchers/teachers. That shouldn’t be discounted so quickly.

    We’ll agree to disagree.

  • antiutopia

    Once again, Lawrence, certainty + ignorance = stupidity. That’s not a logical fallacy. You don’t even know what logic is. Our discussion is on the level of facts. You’ve never done the job, so you don’t have any facts. You haven’t even done any meaningful reading about the subject.

    You can’t make claims about a job without actually knowing anything about the job and then expect to be taken seriously and treated with respect.

    If you knew anything at all about teaching, or had even read one or two recent articles about MOOCs, you wouldn’t express such an uninformed opinion about the likelihood of MOOCs replacing instructors. Just Google San Jose State University and MOOC, from there you’ll also find that some creators of MOOCs are saying they’re being used for purposes for which they were never intended.

    The truth on your end is that because you believe your opinions are valuable just because they are yours, and not because they are informed, you despise teachers as a group (who expect you to have informed opinions).

  • antiutopia

    Tccstend: Some places, yes, but that depends on the institution. Even some Tier 1 schools have teaching tracks to tenure (UCF I think is one), and smaller private colleges tend to value teaching considerably more than research, even if they have research expectations. Community colleges do as well.

  • antiutopia

    You really make more as an adjunct than you could as even an entry-level accountant? You could still continue to teach with a private sector job, you know — maybe just one or two per semester to supplement the drop in income from your switch.

  • Lawrence

    I made claims about your level of engagement. And I still stand by that. You claim that teaching is the easy part. And yes, I happen to disagree. This sends you frothing and hurling insults. How dare anyone question you. Thank goodness for the anonymity of the internet. I do hope that you feel better having vented in such a way. You feel that only a college professor should have an opinion about the state of academia. This is folly, and you know it.

    As an aside, I’m a student of the history of technology. MOOCs are something that are nearer to me than you may imagine. MOOCs have barely had any time in existence, and you also claim to know their trajectory.

    “from there you’ll also find that some creators of MOOCs are saying they’re being used for purposes for which they were never intended.”

    The use of a technology is sometimes different than its intended purpose.

    Wow, that’s a shock. But I am suspect of anyone who claims definitively to know what will happen. We have reams and reams of data over decades and decades which show what happens when technological change is realized. Look at globalization, the loss of this country’s manufacturing base. Instead of hiring faculty, colleges will be tempted to purchase MOOC packages that have been developed by big name teachers, and administer them for a fraction of the cost using lower skilled teaching assistants and administrators.

    Of course, that is only conjecture. But at least I can concede that point, rather than citing an example, telling me to “Google it,” then purporting it as gospel.

  • antiutopia

    Lawrence, retreating into generalities won’t help your case either. That’s just another diversionary tactic.

    You were making claims about what kind of teaching is -easier for the teacher- without ever having taught a college course. That’s BS. Yes, I do get angry when ignorant dumbasses pontificate about my profession, because that’s the way most colleges and universities are run these days: ignorant dumbasses who have no classroom experience dictating the worst possible policies. And you see where we are with higher ed.

    Generalities about technology are completely irrelevant as well. I am talking only and solely about MOOCs. They do not and cannot have meaningful assessments built in, especially the kinds of assessments that measure writing and critical thinking skills. They can’t be used for remedial students, and shouldn’t be used for freshman students at all. There is no potential technological development possible to change this situation, as machines do not know what sentences -mean-. They can’t detect irony, register nuance, or consider implications. They’re not even very good at evaluating grammar.

    But the real issue here, again, isn’t knowing the technology, but knowing how people learn, and you need to spend time in the classroom to know that. not as a student, but as a teacher.

    Keep in mind that all teachers were also students once too. All teachers have a student’s perspective, but no one has a teacher’s perspective unless they have actually taught.

    Now, I will concede a little bit here: instruction about subjects native to the computer itself may well be capable of being fully automated on a computer. You write a script and it works or it doesn’t. So I might be able to understand your point of view to the extent that it’s limited to your own field.

    But because you don’t understand that limitation, again, your opinion doesn’t count for much.

  • Kay Mauer

    If the colleges were not so leftist, I would not have a problem. Every campus I go to is left wing nutso. Heck with that. Let them work for Obama. It was experimental psychologist John Dewey, student of Wilhelm Wundt that started the American educational decline. Teachers unions love Dewey. To hell with educational communists. A good computer and diligent parents means specialized instruction and no waste of taxpayer money to teach our kids socialism. No more using our schools as Dewey psychological experimental test chambers. Schools should be bulldozed so the leftist professors can earn money as caddies.

  • Kay Mauer

    Bulldoze the schools and go learn to caddie. We can build golf courses for your kind Mr. Professor. You have done nothing but turn our schools into psychological test chamber akin to the wants of John dewey and Wilhelm Wundt. Read your history. The Internet replaces you. We don’t need you anymore. Go get a real job.

  • Jocelyn Read

    A survey linked below shows $64,414 is the 2012-2013 average for tenure-track (Assistant) profs, averaged over all institutions. That’s certainly much better than adjuncting, but it’s a substantial difference from the graphic.
    https://www.higheredjobs.com/salary/salaryDisplay.cfm?SurveyID=24

  • antiutopia

    Yep, one more jackass who’s never taught a class thinking that they know something about what teachers do or what students need in order to learn.

    Yes, machines can teach people — who are only capable of thinking like machines. They can teach tools. They’re not so good at teaching human beings to think independently.

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