Thursday, April 04, 2013

Random paragraphs of internet controversies

1. The "Mrs. Degree" controversy:  You can read a reasoned approach to this at Historiann's. As I understand it, a woman who went to Princeton and is now getting divorced regrets that she didn't marry someone from her cohort there and urges young women not to repeat her mistake. 

Yes, this does sound like advice from 1953. I have more faith in young women, though, than that they'll heed this advice, first because they're sensible, and secondly because who ever heard of a college sophomore who wasn't the smartest person on the planet, much smarter than any Woman of a Certain Age?

Seriously, though, this is disheartening. 

2. They've perfected the automated university.  
a. First, you eliminate the professors, or "content providers" (h/t Jonathan Rees):http://chronicle.com/article/Under-California-Bill/138235/

b. Then you get grading software, which is much better than any professor except a SuperMOOC one. Here's the best part: 
Plus, he noted, critics of the technology have tended to come from the nation’s best universities, where the level of pedagogy is much better than at most schools. “Often they come from very prestigious institutions where, in fact, they do a much better job of providing feedback than a machine ever could,” Dr. Shermis said. “There seems to be a lack of appreciation of what is actually going on in the real world." 
See how that works? The hierarchy of quality goes like this

  1. Prestigious institutions. 
  2. Grading software. 
  3. All other institutions (the "real world" where the "level of pedagogy" is by implication not so hot). 

c. What's missing? Essay-writing software for the students so that they won't have to write the essays that no one will read.


4 comments:

Stacey Donohue said...

Loved the post that is no more: I felt similarly.

undine said...

So you saw that post this morning? You didn't think it was too much? I took it down but may put it back.

Stacey Donohue said...

The beauty of the soon to be dead Google Reader is that it keeps posts even after the writer has deleted them (or at least sometimes it seems to--not always). When I was blogging (anonymously) that always unnerved me, so I was almost reluctant to reveal that I saw it, but it really did confirm my own reactions to the Twitter event, so thank you for reposting! Someday, you'll have to share why you took it down---I have ideas;-)

profacero said...

On the Mrs., maybe *that* is why my parents were so upset about my going to a state R1 and getting good grades. They wanted elite small private with social life "so I could make friends" and I finally get it. The right husband.