Monthly Archives: February 2014

Let’s all go MOOC ourselves: Some suggestive reflections on technology and education

Let’s all go MOOC ourselves: Some suggestive reflections on technology and education

I have found Walter Breau’s post, “Big Bang Disruption,” to be extremely thought-provoking. That said, neither I nor anyone else should hold him in any way responsible for anything that follows in this post (or, for that matter, anything that has preceded this paragraph in this post). If one compares the life cycles of gadgets […] … learn more→

Qatar: A new leader in diabetes research

Qatar: A new leader in diabetes research

Researchers at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) have made a major breakthrough in diabetes research through the development of specialized stem cells. Laboratory tests have shown that stem cells can be used to secrete insulin and control blood sugar levels. Individuals who suffer from diabetes have high blood sugar levels due to the inability of […] … learn more→

Not all English tests for foreign students are fraudulent

Not all English tests for foreign students are fraudulent

Revelations of fraudulent practices allowing bogus students to obtain visas to study in the UK have been received with shock and disbelief by English language teachers. An investigation by BBC’s Panorama focused on the sale of fake examination certificates and bank statements to enable students to gain visas to study in the UK. The students […] … learn more→

Vision for excellence is idiocy

Vision for excellence is idiocy

Administration: “We’re now tirelessly working on a strategic plan…” –a notice that lets faculty know that a(nother) vast sum of money is about to be thrown away. I’ve written many times about the glut of very highly paid administrators in higher education, and a very natural question concerns what, exactly, these people do with all […] … learn more→

Aren’t more administrators needed to meet increased federal regulatory requirements?

Aren’t more administrators needed to meet increased federal regulatory requirements?

The title of this post is another one of those entrenched but hackneyed questions that obscures the real issues in higher education. The often-heard claim that federal mandates have necessitated the proliferation of administrators makes little sense on several levels. First, and most basically, why should keeping data, etc., on what are essentially secondary, if […] … learn more→

Competency-based degrees: Coming soon to a campus near you

Has distance education significantly affected the business and teaching models of higher education? Certainly. Is it today’s biggest disrupter of the higher-education industry? Not quite. In fact, the greatest risk to traditional higher education as we know it may be posed by competency-based education models. Competency-based programs allow students to gain academic credit by demonstrating […] … learn more→

It may be time to concede that there is such a thing as willful ignorance

In 2012, the National Science Foundation conducted a public survey on basic knowledge of science, but the results were just released. The survey tracked the answers provided by 2,200 randomly selected adults to ten true-or false questions. The item that has attracted the most media attention has been the stunning revelation that 26% of the […] … learn more→

Flush the administration, Part 3

Admin: “Congratulations to our new dean. It was a long process, but worth it to find such a leader!” Many administrative positions are chosen after months of faux interviews. Time and again I’ve seen those appointments ultimately go to close personal friends of administration already on campus, often over serious objections from faculty. Despite the […] … learn more→

It\’s Valentine Day. So go and buy me something… darling

Today is Valentine’s Day, and it seems that the marketing of the day, and of many occasions throughout the year, has stepped up substantially over the past couple of years. Many believe that Valentine’s Day (or VD for short), is now simply feeding our consumerist culture. But there is probably more to it than simply […] … learn more→

What to do after a car accident

Almost every driver will experience at least one car accident over the course of their life; while such incidents can sometimes be prevented by exercising caution and driving responsibly, it is not always possible to protect yourself against the recklessness of others. If you have already experienced a car accident, you may know how the […] … learn more→