Mariya P. Ivancheva, Rebecca Swartz, Neil P. Morris, Sukaina Walji, Bronwen J. Swinnerton, Taryn Coop & Laura Czerniewicz(2020)Conflicting logics of online higher education,British Journal of Sociology of Education,DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2020.1784707
The advent of massive open online courses and online degrees offered via digital platforms has occurred in a climate of austerity. Public universities worldwide face challenges to expand their educational reach, while competing in international rankings, raising fees and generating third-stream income. Online forms of unbundled provision offering smaller flexible low-cost curricular units have promised to disrupt this system. Yet do these forms challenge existing hierarchies in higher education and the market logic that puts pressure on universities and public institutions at large in the neoliberal era? Based on fieldwork in South Africa, this article explores the perceptions of senior managers of public universities and of online programme management companies. Analysing their considerations around unbundled provision, we discuss two conflicting logics of higher education that actors in structurally different positions and in historically divergent institutions use to justify their involvement in public–private partnerships: the logic of capital and the logic of social relevance.
Unbundling – the disaggregation of educational provision and its delivery, often via digital technologies
Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s (2006) framework of different orders of justification, connecting them to the sociological literature on institutional logics
We suggest that more explicit and nuanced national and institutional policies need to be produced around unbundled provision, which are cognisant of emerging trends in and dangers to the evolution of unbundling at public universities.
Unbundling the traditional university ‘bundle’ affects not only property, services and facilities, but also administration, evaluation, issuing credentials and even teaching (Wallhaus 2000, 22). This process involves separating educational provision (e.g. degree programmes) into component parts (e.g. courses) for delivery by multiple stakeholders, often using digital approaches (Swinnerton et al. 2018). Universities can unbundle on their own, offering individual credit-bearing modules outside bounded disciplinary curricula, or in partnership with OPM providers, offering MOOCs or credit-bearing courses or programmes. Proponents of unbundling suggest that the disaggregation of television and music production and its re-aggregation as on-demand digital content like Netflix or Spotify could represent a template for universities (Craig 2015; McIntosh 2018).
The introduction of market logic into the sector happens even if higher education is a stratified positional pseudo-market with scarce excludible resources only available to groups with access to a few prestigious institutions; its outcomes and value are difficult to measure in purely economic terms
Under accelerated marketisation, Tomlinson (2018, 714 and 724) argues, higher education is reduced to the latter frame and measured in terms of income generation, employability, consumption and performativity. Building on this framework, and relating it to unbundling, we identify the emergence of two organisational logics of higher education: the logic of social relevance and the logic of capital.
Institutional logics are ‘supra-organizational patterns of activity by which individuals and organizations produce and reproduce their material subsistence … [and] symbolic systems, ways of ordering reality… rendering experience of time and space meaningful’ (Friedland and Alford 1991, 243). Unlike new institutionalism, which remained focused on processes of institutional isomorphism or the replacement of a static single logic by another, the institutional logics perspective offers a more dynamic multi-level view: a plurality of logics coexist in complex interrelations within organisational fields like higher education
These scenarios omit two critical components of the campus: the many men and women who can’t work from home and extracurricular activities.
Layoffs and furloughs must be the last option; pay cuts/freezes and other cost-saving opportunities must be exhausted before even one person is laid off this fall.
Extracurricular activities must be undertaken with an abundance of caution. Only those activities that are essential and can’t take place virtually must be held. Social distancing must be practiced, no matter the health conditions that exist at the particular time.
How the Coronavirus Will Change Faculty Life Forever
As the pandemic wears on, expect heavier teaching loads, more service requirements, and more time online
Higher education in fall 2020: three pandemic scenarios.
As I close up my semester, I’ve had many chats with students as we think about Fall 2020 &beyond. This post by @BryanAlexander pulls together the best glimpse of what “next” may look like for us.https://t.co/Z6AZxXTJ8U
Institutional support for accessibility technologies
Blended data center (on premises and cloud based)
Incorporation of mobile devices in teaching and learning
Open educational resources
Technologies for improving analysis of student data
Integrated student success planning and advising systems
Mobile apps for enterprise applications
Predictive analytics for student success (institutional level)
At least 35% of institutions are tracking these five technologies in 2020: Support for 5G; Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax, AX Wi-Fi); Identity as a Service (IDaaS); Digital microcredentials (including badging); Uses of the Internet of Things for teaching and learning; and Next-generation digital learning environment
Educators are in an arms race these days against an industry that seeks to profit by helping students cheat. Some websites offer to write papers for students, others sell access to past tests by individual professors, and others will even take entire online courses for students, as a kind of study double.
question to Tricia: the aggressiveness of the Websites. radio silence by governments, universities.
is there a data on contract cheating: data from Australia, UK. 7 Mil students worldwide engaged in contsure
punitive vs preventive practices.
students being educated for that matter faculty.
stakeholders: students, faculty (accreditation), parents, administration. what the forces in place to keep in check the administration/
how does the education happen in a world where the grade is the king and the credit is the queen?
If i organize a workshop on cheating noone attends; overworked
not magic bullet. more communication and awareness. teaching and learning issue. in the business of certifying. integrity is essential to the certification program and teaching and learning, otherwise it cannot be graded. lost from the core mission.
clear and better policies: what is the role of the faculty in the process. when teaching and learning is not sufficient and needs to move to allegations.
Instructional designer: online is easier to cheat.
Pivoting one’s pedagogical focus to relationship-building thus demands a learning process about the self and the students, and there are practical steps an instructor can consider when embarking on this paradigm shift.
1. Provide opportunities for students to reflect.
2. Prepare to learn about yourself and your students.