Professoriate Pending Outsource: BlackBoard to Sell Online Classes
University and college adjuncts - and the professoriate at large - should brace themselves for the next blow, and the next round of layoffs. According to the Chronicle, BlackBoard is teaming up with a for-profit to sell pre-designed online college courses.
Once online courses became all the rage to cut costs (you can pay an adjunct less, and then distribute the course shell unto infinity even once they leave, decreasing the need for actual faculty, if the organization is more interested in their pocketbook than educational outcomes), this was bound to happen eventually. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised, but I do reserve the right to be disappointed.
For now, it looks like it's directed at students who need remediation. (Who, I would think, could actually use real faculty contact instead of pre-fabbed e-learning.) We'll see how long that lasts once Blackboard sees what they can make off of it. A number of universities have already moved their gen-eds online to deal with the overenrollment and lack-of-space issue - who's to say gen-eds won't be next? And is that a problem?