Resisting the push to make distance ed. the new normal (May 2020)
Special focus on the rise of online courses and their impact:
– Face-to-face teaching must remain the core of higher ed.
– Concerns are raised about proprietary online education tools as Instructure (owner of Canvas) is sold for $2 billion
– Students’ perspectives on taking online courses
– Selected readings on the impact of online education
CFT opposes online-only community college (Feb. 2018)
AFT Distance Education: Guidelines for Good Practice
1. Faculty must retain academic control
2. Faculty must be prepared to meet the special requirements of teaching at a distance
3. Course design should be shaped to the potentials of the medium
4. Students must fully understand course requirements and be prepared to succeed
5. Close personal interaction must be maintained
6. Class Size should be set through normal faculty channels
7. Courses should cover all material
8. Experimentation with a broad variety of subjects should be encouraged
9. Equivalent research opportunities must be provided
10. Student assessment should be comparable
11. Equivalent advisement opportunities must be offered
12. Faculty should retain creative control over use and re-use of materials
13. Full undergraduate degree programs should include same-time same-place coursework
14. Evaluation of distance coursework should be undertaken at all levels
Today, technology can be seen in almost every aspect of higher education, whether it is student services and human resources software, course management systems for on-site and distance courses, the increase in communication with students via e-mail, laptops in classrooms, hybrid classes, faculty in one state teaching for institutions in another via distance, or faster and greater access to research materials via the Internet.
How technology will affect higher education in the future is hard to predict, but there is no reason to believe that efforts to expand the use of technology will abate. Consequently, the AFT is looking broadly at how technology is influencing higher education as a whole, and our effort must be ongoing to keep pace with new developments. That focus is reflected in our recent publications.