The 24-Hour Professor

Jeffry R. Young, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, May 29, 2002
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Another scare article from the Chronicle which asks the question, "Is technology turning college teaching into a 24-hour job?" This is a change of tactic for the Chronicle, a shift from the argument that online learning allows too little contact with students to the argument that online learning allows too much. "E-mails are like Hitchcock's birds... They pursue you relentlessly, hover in flocks, and leave you running for cover." The gist of the article is that professors should have limited 'office hours' online. But of course this is a 19th century approach to a 20th century problem. A properly managed website, FAQ and sponsored student discussion can significantly reduce the professor's workload. Too bad the Chronicle sees no alternative to the one-on-one student-professor interaction.
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