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
Janine HarrisonYou could also substitute an ice breaker with an introduction that could be both personal and relate to your subject and require a minimum of two participation posts. If students don’t know one another, they can find commonalities that way.
Jorge RibeiroI ask them to tell us their superpower(s) & kryptonite noting that they can be anything. Superpowers have been: baking bread, doing push-ups daily, Crystal Quest, etc. Kryptonite: math, writing an essay, spinach
Ed HeaberlinAsk them to discuss
1). The movie they were most disappointed by
2) the movie that they most often recommend
3) their favorite food
4) a food they hate
5) their most embarrassing moment
6) their dream vacation
7) if they could throw a dinner with any five famous people (living, dead, or both)who would it be n why
Diana AnsonUsing the Discussion Board I have each student introduce themselves to the class. I make the first post introducing myself. I usually include a picture of my dogs. This gives everyone a example of what is expected. Many really good ideas for questions are included already posted here. I also assign points for following the instructions. Points are a great motivation .
Traci Schneider CullFavorite cartoon.. what superhero power would you have and why? If you could only eat 5 foods forever what would they be… would you rather go without technology for a yr or all sweets and desserts for a year…would you give up your tech for a year or your pet
Britt Rodgers BugbyHave them choose an emoji to represent themselves and explain why…and it can’t be 💩
Sharon KibbeYou can have them select a song that they would “enter a room/party to” and have them play it at the start of their introduction
Most students do not want an online education, and many are calling for reductions in tuition fees to compensate for what they perceive might be a lower-quality education and experience. Some might choose to wait for a return to on-campus delivery.
Most professors do not want to teach in an online environment because they value engaging with students in discussions, debates, and laboratory demonstrations. There are many good pedagogical reasons why most post-secondary education continues to take place in a face-to-face, on-campus delivery mode despite the longstanding availability of technology to support online teaching.
Professor and student preferences aside, there is a more pressing problem looming.
There is precious little time for professors to change all of their courses to an online mode of delivery.
Nova Scotia Universities and Colleges need a significant and urgent infusion of funding from the provincial government to cover the increased costs of converting post-secondary education into an entirely different mode of operation over the next three months. Universities cannot be expected to cover those costs alone, and neither should students.
Can anyone recommend any online video editing options to use with students? (I currently use Wevideo and have for years, but I pay for it and am looking for a free option!) @themerrillsedu@lesliefisher@JakeMillerTech
That’s the best online one that I’m aware of. @screencasto also has some editing in their paid version; @Screencastify allows some basic cutting & trimming edits; @Flipgrid can do cutting, trimming, and combining of clips.
Hi colleagues, My provost just put out a set of expected guidelines for instructors in online classes that emphasize expectations around discussion forums (I pasted them below). These discussion forum expectations are very narrowly defined. I am needing group-think on references that might help me put together some “best practice” alternatives. If an article or other resource comes to mind, please share!
Online Faculty Expectations
Weekly Required (all weeks)
• Faculty will demonstrate their presence in the class 5 days per week
• Respond to all students’ (who post on-time) primary discussion post if you have 9 or fewer students (1/2 of students if you have 10 or more).
• Faculty with larger courses should take special care to post to different students each week.
• Faculty who provide a weekly zoom lecture need only post on the board two other times (on two different days for a total of two other posts).
• Provide individual feedback (posted in the feedback section of the gradebook) for all discussion grades within a reasonable timeframe for students to complete subsequent assignments.
Dayna HenryI balk at the admin trying to tell us what to do. At the same time, I am very angry with colleagues who did not actually offer anything in the way of virtual learning when we went online in spring. It’s hard to balance academic freedom with faculty who don’t care to learn/offer a new way of learning (for your institution). I also recognize the admin was not in their F2F courses either and likely the slacking was occurring there too. The problem is the students LOVE these folks for giving them an easy A/pass.
Cathy CurranFor years I have said that administrators need to teach at least one each year or every other year. My Dean has been out of the classroom for over 20 years, the Provost for over 25 and the Chancellor has never taught. They have zero clue how to build or implement and online class. They keep making mandates that to those of us who do actually teach seem absurd. We know the “count and classify” nonsense never works but it is the same argument they use for numerical evaluations of teaching effectiveness: it is objective. The decisions they are making do not make instruction better they are all about power and control, they need us to “prove” that we are doing our job and somehow logging into the LMS five days a week does that. Sad really really sad. Well you know some do and other become administrators…
I’m looking for a tool that will allow students to collaboratively create an “exhibit” at the end of an online class. Each student will be responsible for curating a selection of objects (art, photographs, music clips, and text quotes) with short explanations that we’ll put together in an exhibit on our class topic. I’ve thought of various formats—including possibly TimelineJS (I’m a historian)—but I wanted to see if anyone else had experience with this kind of assignment and recommendations of tools. My students have different levels of technology access and literacy, so my priority is simplicity and ease of use. Thank you very much for any suggestions you might have!