Rebooting California Higher Education

The Twenty Million Minds organization, a California-based non-profit, sponsored an event on the UCLA campus that brought together numerous policymakers, industry leaders, and faculty, student and administration representatives to talk about the future of California's public higher education system.

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  1. Agenda

  2. "The purpose of the panel discussion is to raise the awareness and discuss key issues regarding the 
    potential for online education to lower the costs for higher education in California."

    Key Takeaways:
    - Online education is "reality driven if not faculty driven."
    - Academics need to own the solution to the future of Higher Ed. More research.
    - Move away from solo teachers towards a community of teachers, instructional design teams.
    - Move from a teacher-centric perspective to a learner-centric one.
    - MOOCs more than free courses, but research based education. Developing and discovering new pedagogies and technologies.
    -  Higher ed needs to be focused on the "better" of the "better, faster, cheaper" push.
    - Faculty and institutions at public institutions and community colleges need more resources and training to develop online courses.
    - MOOCs or MOOC like courses are need more at the public and community college level not elite research universities.
    - The panel discussion ended with talk of "quality" and no consensus. 
  3. Open Discussion 

  4. Scaling effort for MOOCs and cost reduction.  
  5. Moderated Faculty Panel

    Opening comments: 

    Diana Wright Guerin, President, CSU Academic Senate 
    Professors supportive of online education  problem recruiting professors. Need to look at the research and service part of education. Personally concerned, higher education gives students skills to navigate and negotiate systems, not present in online ed/MOOCs. 
    Robert Powell, Chair, UC Academic Senate 
    Coursera, EdX and Udacity came out of research projects. For us it all about research.
  6. Lillian Taiz, President, California Faculty Association 
    Not all CA students have access to internet, laptops, or tablet. The question is how much access does someone have if they don't have access to all the equipment or connectivity? We owe it to the students to conduct rigorous research because it will affect, possible harm, the next generation of students. "When and how will online education become effective?"
  7. Bob Samuels, President, University Council AFT
    Doesn't believe the move to online is faculty driven. High quality education and material cost money and time. Online education is labor intensive. The problem is cost reduction and state cuts. We have to define quality of education. Do we really know how much it cost to fund undergraduate courses. "We are being invaded by outside forces."
  8. Fact: Over 6.7 million students took at least one online course during the fall 2011 term (an increase of 570,000 over the same term during previous year). However, only 30% of chief academic officers--"lower than the rate recorded in 2004"--say their faculty accept its value and legitimacy.

  9. Michelle Pilati, President, Community College Academic Senate 
    What does it mean to get a degree? Accumulating credit or an overall experience?
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