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Economic and political pressures

Although administrators in higher education typically feel tremendous economic pressure the irony is that these pressures are essentially internal. Newman and his colleagues (2004) commented that, except for brief declines during recessions, revenues adjusted for inflation from all revenue sources (tuition, state funding, etc.) are actually increasing. The economic pressure comes from ever increasing expenditures rather than declining revenues. Administrators are simply spending more money on more things. This spending is typically focused on institutional status and “mission creep” (Newman et al., 2004). Thus, the increased revenue is not being spent on student learning. Instead, the money is spent on programs with poor ROI, causing further economic pressure, leading to even more programs with poor ROI. The dog is chasing its tail.

The result is not only the perceived economic pressure, but actual external political pressure as well. Students, parents, and political leaders see skyrocketing tuition paired with atrocious four year graduation rates (e.g., Hess, Schneider, Carey,&Kelly, 2009). They also encounter institutional resistance when they try to hold institutions accountable for student learning. They may not be aware of the results of national tests showing that 50% of college graduates cannot read or do mathematics at a college level (Pascarella&Terenzini, 2005), but they have a vague sense that the revenue from rapidly increasing tuition and fees is not being spent on student learning. Thus, lowering the FGE is politically smart in addition to being economically smart. Throwing information dumps online that, at best, merely reproduce the low levels of learning already of public concern is no one’s best interest. In fact, the rush to online instruction may turn out to be the higher education equivalent of the charge of the Light Brigade—charging right into the big guns of our biggest critics. If, at best, what we accomplish through electronic instruction is simply more of what we are already doing, can a higher education equivalent of No Child Left Behind, and the resulting loss of institutional control, be far away?


Throwing a lot of courses and programs online is the Benchmark solution to the problem. Everybody is doing it and higher education administrators fear they will miss out if they do not join in. At one level this occurrence does make sense. Even if an institution winds up shooting itself in the foot, at worst it will be competing against institutions with similar holes in their feet. But this is the relative comparison. In absolute terms, the institution is really better off economically only if it generates a sufficiently high ROI on its students. The “churn and burn” approach to enrollment can be very costly. Low retention rates, churning enrollment every year, is equivalent to lighting a cigarette with recruitment dollars. Continuing to generate low FGE is also not wise politically. This situation does not mean that technology cannot improve instruction in classrooms or that online courses cannot help accomplish institutional missions. But doing so will be expensive and must combine the talents of SMEs, ID experts, and computer experts. Online learning may be the wave of the future, but this wave does not mean that the future will necessarily be bright. Making this future bright will require a major change in the way institutions of higher education approach online learning.

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Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Ncpea handbook of online instruction and programs in education leadership. OpenStax CNX. Mar 06, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11375/1.24
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