Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Eduction

Noble, David F.

Editorial: Monthly Review Press
ISBN 10: 1583670920 / ISBN 13: 9781583670927
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. Worn Corners and/or Edges (Possibly Bent). Dog Eared Pages. Creases on Cover. Stains on Edges of Pages. Used - Good. Sound copy (Mild Reading Wear). May have scuffs or missing DJ. May have some notes, highlighting or underlining. "Our Business is Changing Lives.". N° de ref. de la librería

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Sinopsis:

Is the Internet the springboard which will take universities into a new age, or a threat to their existence? Will dotcom degrees create new opportunities for those previously excluded, or lead them into a digital dead-end? From UCLA to Columbia, digital technologies have brought about rapid and sweeping changes in the life of the university—changes which will have momentous effects in the decade ahead.

In the first book-length analysis of the meaning of the Internet for the future of higher education, Noble cuts through the rhetorical claims that these developments will bring benefits for all. His analysis shows how university teachers are losing control over what they teach, how they teach and for what purpose. It shows how erosion of their intellectual property rights makes academic employment ever less secure. The academic workforce is reconfigured as administrators claim ownership of the course-designs and teaching materials developed by faculty, and try to lower labor costs in the marketing and delivery of courses.

Rather than new opportunities for students the online university represents new opportunities for investors to profit while shifting the burden of paying for education from the public purse to the individual consumer—who increasingly has to work long hours at poorly-paid jobs in order to afford the privilege. And this transformation of higher education is often brought about through secretive agreements between corporations and universities—including many which rely on public funding.

Noble locates recent developments within a longer-term historical perspective, drawing out parallels between Internet education and the correspondence course movement of the early decades of the 20th century. This timely work by the foremost commentator of the social meaning of digital education is essential reading for all who are concerned with the future of the academic enterprise.

From the Author:
"The moral of the story is that, through higher tuition, students have been subsidizing the commercialization of the university. They are paying more but their money is being used to underwrite the very thing that is destroying education. Students are paying more for less. Class sizes increase, teacher-student ratios go down."

David Noble

in conversation with Jamie Swift

JAMIE SWIFT: How does this book connect with your previous work on the history of technology and the relationship between culture and technology?

DAVID NOBLE: I've spent a lot of my career studying the automation of other industries and also the impulses behind that automation. And now "Digital Diploma Mills" is an examination of the industry I work in.

JS: How does what you call the "religion of technology" -- and more specifically the automation of education and the rise of on-line learning -- affect professors and students?

DN: There is no evidence of any pedagogical value for any of this. The economic viability, to the extent that it exist at all -- and that's questionable -- demands a dramatic reduction of labour costs. So the whole edifice of so-called on-line learning rests on the rather frail backs of indentured servants, part time and adjunct faculty who are paid next to nothing. The first chapter of the book is a history of correspondence education in the twentieth century. We're now seeing a repeat of an enterprise that was based on minimizing instructor costs. All the money went into advertising and promotion.

Today the technical foundation is not the post office but fibre optic networks and so on. The investment in infrastructure is enormous. In the book I call it a "technological tapeworm" that exists in the guts of higher education. The tapeworm must be fed -- maintained, serviced, and upgraded. The costs of actually producing courses is much more expensive than had been anticipated, exactly the same as with correspondence courses.

JS: Who will pay those costs?

DN: They try to get the customers to pay. But there's a problem because there aren't many customers. Just as there was little evidence of pedagogical value with correspondence courses, there was also little demand. The impulse behind today's initiatives was that, for a while, there was the expectation of big dollars to be made. That bubble has burst. What we're left with is massive infrastructure like the Technology Enhanced Learning building at York. In addition to that infrastructure there is a cadre of careerists who have staked their careers on this boondoggle. They are doing everything they can to keep the thing afloat. The names change. Before technology enhanced learning there was on line learning. Before that there was distance learning.

The implications for students are horrendous. Tapeworms deplete the energy and health of the host. In this case, there's a real toll on the educational function of the university. At York a hundred million dollars are going into the Technology Enhanced Learning building where one floor is leased to corporations. Meanwhile a ten per cent cut is being imposed on everything else. Class sizes are increasing. Staffing is being cut. Curriculum and course offerings are being eliminated. Adjuncts are replacing full time faculty.

JS: How does this affect the tuition and the higher costs that we hear so much about?

DN: As an historian, I've found it interesting. You rarely get things to line up so neatly. In the US in 1980 the Bayh-Dole Amendment to the Patent Act gave universities automatic ownership of all patents on federally funded research. That turned the universities into patent holding companies. Peddlers of intellectual property. Universities began building commercial labs and hiring expensive researchers to the impoverishment of the rest of the university. In the US tuition began to outpace inflation in 1980.

In Canada the same thing happened in 1990 through a fiat -- like a papal bull -- from Ottawa. Patents that had reverted to the Crown became property of the university. In 1990 tuition started to outpace inflation in Canada. The moral of the story is that, through higher tuition, students have been subsidizing the commercialization of the university. They are paying more but their money is being used to underwrite the very thing that is destroying education. Students are paying more

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Título: Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of ...
Editorial: Monthly Review Press
Condición del libro: Good

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David F. Noble
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Descripción New York University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is the Internet the springboard which will take universities into a new age, or a threat to their existence? Will dotcom degrees create new opportunities for those previously excluded, or lead them into a digital dead-end? From UCLA to Columbia, digital technologies have brought about rapid and sweeping changes in the life of the university changes which will have momentous effects in the decade ahead.In the first book-length analysis of the meaning of the Internet for the future of higher education, Noble cuts through the rhetorical claims that these developments will bring benefits for all. His analysis shows how university teachers are losing control over what they teach, how they teach and for what purpose. It shows how erosion of their intellectual property rights makes academic employment ever less secure. The academic workforce is reconfigured as administrators claim ownership of the course-designs and teaching materials developed by faculty, and try to lower labor costs in the marketing and delivery of courses. Rather than new opportunities for students the online university represents new opportunities for investors to profit while shifting the burden of paying for education from the public purse to the individual consumer who increasingly has to work long hours at poorly-paid jobs in order to afford the privilege. And this transformation of higher education is often brought about through secretive agreements between corporations and universities including many which rely on public funding. Noble locates recent developments within a longer-term historical perspective, drawing out parallels between Internet education and the correspondence course movement of the early decades of the 20th century. This timely work by the foremost commentator of the social meaning of digital education is essential reading for all who are concerned with the future of the academic enterprise. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9781583670927

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Descripción New York University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is the Internet the springboard which will take universities into a new age, or a threat to their existence? Will dotcom degrees create new opportunities for those previously excluded, or lead them into a digital dead-end? From UCLA to Columbia, digital technologies have brought about rapid and sweeping changes in the life of the university changes which will have momentous effects in the decade ahead.In the first book-length analysis of the meaning of the Internet for the future of higher education, Noble cuts through the rhetorical claims that these developments will bring benefits for all. His analysis shows how university teachers are losing control over what they teach, how they teach and for what purpose. It shows how erosion of their intellectual property rights makes academic employment ever less secure. The academic workforce is reconfigured as administrators claim ownership of the course-designs and teaching materials developed by faculty, and try to lower labor costs in the marketing and delivery of courses. Rather than new opportunities for students the online university represents new opportunities for investors to profit while shifting the burden of paying for education from the public purse to the individual consumer who increasingly has to work long hours at poorly-paid jobs in order to afford the privilege. And this transformation of higher education is often brought about through secretive agreements between corporations and universities including many which rely on public funding. Noble locates recent developments within a longer-term historical perspective, drawing out parallels between Internet education and the correspondence course movement of the early decades of the 20th century. This timely work by the foremost commentator of the social meaning of digital education is essential reading for all who are concerned with the future of the academic enterprise. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9781583670927

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