Quote Of The Day

“One way to quickly improve any university would be to eliminate the bottom 25 percent of teachers and replace them with online instruction from outside the university. Maybe online instructors cannot compete with high-quality in-person professors, but they can certainly replace the worst.” — Arnold Kling

3 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • There is a point to be made here…online instruction probably works for some core classes or those in which lab or hands on interaction isn’t needed as much, but the mission of most universities is not teaching, it is research. The jobs that would be eliminated probably could be lecturing and TA positions. I think that there certainly is value in online education, but it certainly isn’t a replacement for the professor.

    Also, if you have ever gone through an online course…you discover that in some ways, it is more difficult. It may seem easier or more convenient in terms of allowing working professionals to attend, but one has to be disciplined to stick with it.

  • How do you determine high quality online instruction?

    Also, what kind of institution are we talking about? Depending on its mission, the focus may not be high quality instruction, but more so, high quality research. Some of the so called brightest research minds are often times shitty instructors, especially because it’s not a major part of the criteria for promotion or awards.

  • Gerardo,

    The same way you determine high quality in class instruction: student rankings, class difficulty, and ability to teach. Didn’t you know, going to school, which professors were good vs bad? I sure did.

    I take alot of free classes online, for example, through MIT’s opencourseware or Berkeley’s online lectures, and there are clear differences between professors on even the same topic. I envision a good online program involving one of these professors who gets more in pay to take more students from different campuses.

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