Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Sci Tech   

The Growth of Robocolleges

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 501828
Message Dahn Shaulis

In a previous Higher Education Inquirer article, I presented some frightening full-time faculty numbers at some large online universities. Full-time faculty at these schools, in fact, are nearly nonexistent. Bear in mind that all of these schools are regionally accredited, the highest level of institutional accreditation, and the list includes well-known public university systems as well as for-profit ones.

Robot colleges have de-skilled instruction by paying teams of workers, some qualified and some not, to write content, while computer programs perform instructional and management tasks. Learning management systems with automated instruction programs are known by different names and their mechanisms are proprietary. As professor jobs are deskilled, tasks can be farmed out at reduced costs.

Besides the human content creators who may be given instructional titles, other staff members are paid to communicate with students regarding their progress. The assumption is that managing work this way significantly reduces costs, and it does, at least in the short and medium terms. However, instructional costs are frequently replaced by marketing and advertising expenses to pitch the schools to prospective students and their families. Companies like EducationDynamics and Guild Education have filled the niche of promoting robot schools to workers at a reduced cost but their overall impact is minimal.

Meanwhile, companies like Chegg profit from this form of learning, helping students game the system in greater numbers, in essence creating robostudents.

The business model in higher education for reducing labor power and faculty costs is not reserved to for-profit colleges. Community colleges also rely on a small number of full-time faculty and armies of low-wage contingent labor.

In some cases, colleges and universities, including many brand name schools, utilize outside companies, online program managers (OPMs), to run their online programs, with OPMs like 2U taking up as much as 60 percent of the revenues. OPMs can perform a variety of jobs, but are best known for their work in enrollment and retention. Prospective students may believe they are talking to representatives of a particular university when in fact they are talking to someone from an outside source. Noodle has disrupted the OPM model by selling their services ala carte, but only time will tell whether it has an impact, or whether schools will merely find less costly outsourced servicers.

Outsourcing higher education has been a reality in US higher education for decades. And automation is also part of education, as it should, when it performs menial tasks, such as taking roll and doing preliminary work to determine student cheating. It's likely that more schools will become more robotic in nature to reduce organizational expenses. But what are the long-term consequences with long-term student outcomes, when automation is used to perform higher level tasks, and when outsourced individuals act in the name of brand name colleges?

To get a small glimpse of this phenomenon, these schools cumulatively have about 3000 full-time instructors for a half-million students.

American Intercontinental University: 51 full-time instructors for about 8,700 students.

Capella University: 216 F/T for about 38,000 students.

Colorado State University Global: 34 F/T instructors for 12,000 students.

Colorado Technical University: 59 F/T instructors for 26,000 students.

Devry University online: 53 F/T instructors for about 17,000 students.

Liberty University: 1072 F/T for more than 85,000 students.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Rate It | View Ratings

Dahn Shaulis Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Strategic Researcher
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Growth of Robocolleges


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments

Dahn Shaulis

Become a Fan
Author 501828
(Member since Mar 7, 2015), 1 articles, 2 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

What's you take on the growth of robocolleges? And will more colleges and universities take on robotic qualities as austerity hits?

Submitted on Friday, Jul 9, 2021 at 9:40:25 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Flag This
Share Comment More Sharing          
Commenter Blocking?

Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment