Talking about the teach-in
“Why does it feel like collective de ja vu?”
“Because there are hearts and minds that haven’t been changed.”
Call for more training of white professors against bias.
Disruption and Unbundling
● Assumptions of higher ed.
● Problems of higher ed.
● — break --
● Solutions to the problems
● Speculative, things we haven’t covered, final questions
● Assumption: you don’t get credit for expertise developed outside the college classrooms
● Institutions are pretty similar
● Paid work ≠class credit, what does it mean for something to be on a resume but not your transcript
● Assumption: having all 4 years at a single place (contradicted by Minerva)
● Assumption: that we’ll get reflective or career based
● All courses are assumed to be taught a specific way, rather than with diverse methods
● Assumption: faculty are always available, open office hours or email responsiveness
● Faculty assumption: students will do work assigned to them, as opposed to some other places where it might not be expected
● At a small lib. arts school, like Oberlin, it’s a assumed that we have a sense of
● Assumption: the honor code
● Assumption: homogenous political / socio-economic ideologies
● Assumption: you graduate in 4 years
Problems With Higher Education
● Boggle exercise
● Problematic assumption: students grow because of their college lives
● Problematic assumption: courses should be taught the way they’ve always been taught (i.e. traditional in-person lecture)
○ Problematic assumption: people already have information to build off for
high-level lectures, which isn’t true of marginalized students
● Problematic assumption: rhetoric in admissions statements (i.e. diversity & inclusion) versus results (i.e. such a big diversity gap on campus)
● Problematic assumption: HUGE assumption: a lot of the learning is done in the
○ But, really, part of the reason to come to a residential college is to be
surrounded by each other, but that’s not recognized institutionally (quantified in
assignments, or in the classroom)
● Problematic assumption: learning will happen within a specific discipline (i.e. having a major)
○ Need a more inter-connected education, rather than leaving cross-discipline to be sorted out in students’ personal time.
● Problematic assumption: technology will replace the residential liberal arts experiences, but really the majority of higher ed. is done in non-elite institutions
○ Problematic assumption: that technology will replace content, rather than
supplementing the engagement part of education
● Problematic assumption: limitations of logistics (time, place, room, running out of time and forgetting topics between scheduled courses)
● Problem: data currently isn’t used for helping students, rather for recruiting them /admissions
● Problematic assumption: you have to stick with your major / make big life decisions
● Problematic assumption: the student must fit into the institutions
○ But technology allows students to model their education to their preferences
● Note: sometimes there’s a perfect school a student might go to, there’s a privilege to finding the services you need if you’re in a place that you can’t access those services
● Some students work a lot outside of class
● Problematic result: lectures / non-discussion class models override class participation, so why do readings/ the work for a class?
● Problematic assumption: that not being a stereotypical elite college student constitutes failure
○ i.e. not finishing in four years
● Problematic assumption: advising, specifically 1st-year advising is really high stakes, it’s assumed but not necessarily true that advisors are able to guide students to make such big decisions
Do These Assumptions Serve The Purpose Of Higher Ed.
● Note: The purpose of higher ed. is different for almost everyone.
● Common goal of education: learning, of some form
○ Note: there’s nothing specific to US educational models that encode the
experience of learning
● Commonality: being ready to move onto some next thing (job, travel, grad. school)
● Assumption we didn’t mention: higher education comes at a certain point in your life (18 - 21)
● Question: how will online models cope with soft sciences, creative skills, and
supplementing social environments?
● Assumption: learning is content learning mainly
○ Tech. needs to cope with non-content learning: social, emotional experiences especially
● Majors silo students into careers
○ This siloing is a problem for low-regarded tech. professionals, up to high level degrees (med. school)
● Advising is poorly informed, disconnect b/w registrar and faculty
○ “medium” (not “Big” data) data can help students analyze their tracks
● diversity & accessibility are noticeably missing from these “streamlined” tech versions of educational experiences
● Computerized systems + better advising are not mutually exclusive
● not enough professors to advise everyone that well // design of systems is important! (decisions v. suggestions)
● a society that moves toward only computer advisors is comfortable and trusting in its systems // design for the technology gap is super important and can be done w/ AUI
How do you create the “magic” in digital classrooms?
● These problems are always social issues, not just educational issues.
Do these online alterations make education more democratic?