9 Mistakes to Avoid in Seeking Higher Education Registration

9 Mistakes to Avoid in Seeking Higher Education Registration

As a company working in private higher education for close to a decade, we have come across all sorts of people and organisations registered or applying for higher education registration. While the overwhelming majority of clients are good, hard-working people seeking to serve their students and help the community, we have come across a minority of exceptions.

In reflecting on the mistakes we have come across with clients pursuing higher education registration, we have discussed them and put them into 9 common mistakes.

1. Underinvest

If you are looking to pursue higher education registration, and want to make on the classic mistakes, then simply underinvest. It is not enough to simply feel that you have enough to seek registration, you need resources and cash to invest in higher education.

Underinvestment includes such things are: unwillingness to build a team, lack of existing internal capabilities or resources to support capacity and capability building, lack of contingency or support funding for higher education, unrealistic expenditure to maintain a solid, high quality application.

2. Not Work With Others

Higher education is a team sport. The governance structure of higher education can be threatening to many business owners and founders, as it places the governance board as the primary authority for higher education. One red flag client we knew had major problems with working with others, and it is understandable as to why she did not meet governance requirements. Despite helping her with creating a highly experienced and qualified board, she could not work with them or take their advice. This is a major mistake. We strongly recommend the founder/owner step back from the boards, and hire a trusted CEO to run the operations.

3. Dislike Academics

It would be a strange person who bought a medical clinic but had no interest in their patient’s welfare or their medical staff’s practices. That business would not endure. If trouble did not happen with a patient first, either the doctors would leave, or government regulations would become a problem.

The same goes for higher education. Why would you want to enter a business where you have little concern for students or academics? The business of higher education, funnily enough, is higher education. This does not mean you have to be an academic. However, you must be willing to engage with, work with, and support academics and their work.

Many prospective higher education provider have been explicit in their dislike and disregard for academics. This is a very strange perspective. If you don’t love education or the work that academics do (no matter how high maintenance or uncommercial they might be), then it would be a strange choice to pursue registration.

4. Adopt an Employee Mentality

Many prospective higher education providers may have run a government funded institution before, however, higher education is very different. While at some stage you may be eligible for FEE-Help funding (there are specific rules on this), you should not count on this or expect it to be a source of revenue.

Many prospective higher education providers want the registration process to be ‘safe’ and ‘100% guaranteed’. If this is your approach, you are thinking more like an employee than an entrepreneur or business owner. There is risk in all commercial pursuits, and to be wanting to ‘buy a license’ or have a safe passage to registration is simply not possible.

Before you pursue higher education, you really need to assess your own business skills and experience. Have you ever run a business before? Have you employed anyone before? Do you have the managerial experience to complete the mission? Do you have the team to support you in your pursuits?

You really need to take a sober and honest look at your capacity to handle the stresses and challenges of registration.

5. Want to be ‘Rescued’

If they were giving away registration for free, it would be hardly worth the effort to be registered. While many higher education providers pursuing higher education are reeling from the de-funding of the VET sector, you need to have a financial ability to sustain an application and registration application over several years. Where there is a will, there is a way.

A bigger problem is when you want to gain registration on the cheap or pursue higher education to be ‘rescued’ from a business problem.

A large part of our service is to try to save you wasting money on processes and approaches that do not work, as well as save time in meeting the registration requirements. What is a problem, however, is when a prospective applicant does not want to spend anything on higher education or wants us to ‘save’ a business. This is not our role.

Even with the help of consultants and advisors, you need to be able to invest in a range of resources, staff and governance board members. Not having the capacity to pay, however, not having the willingness to pay is an entirely different kettle of fish.

If you want to seek registration, you need to remember it is an investment.

6. Don’t Listen to Advice or Guidance

A mistake many prospective higher education applicants take is that they are super stubborn. They take the hard route and are determined to go it alone. Maybe that have been spooked by the regulator or worried about not getting help. There is nowhere in the TEQSA Act or the TEQSA Threshold Standards that states you cannot seek help or obtain guidance on higher education registration.

The precaution taken by the government is that they want bona fide higher education providers, which can demonstrate compliance with the higher education standards. If you do not have sufficient education or knowledge of higher education to begin with (or how the higher education standards work), there is little point in pursuing higher education. It is okay to seek help, there are limits to how far this can take you.

7. Take No Responsibility or Ownership for Their Application

A key requirement for higher education providers is that they have the internal capabilities and capacity to run a higher education institution. Think about this for a second. This means you need to demonstrate governance, operations, teaching and learning, student support and administration, and a host of other skills and knowledge. While consultants like Darlo Higher Education can help you tremendously in understanding higher education requirements, weaving through registration and regulatory requirements, and where and how to provide evidence of compliance with specific standards, you need to remember that it is your organisation that will be delivering at the end of the day.

In other words, the application process is a reflection of your strategic and operational knowledge, skill and experience of higher education.

7 Long Lasting Benefits of Higher Education Registration in Australia

7 Long Lasting Benefits of Higher Education Registration

Higher education compliance in Australia is complicated, complex and messy. There are many regulations and the national regulator, TEQSA, makes it deliberately obtuse to gain registration. The process could be simplified greatly, and a boom in higher education could change place.

If you are seeking to register as a higher education provider in Australia, you should keep you eye on the long term benefits.

Here are 10 long lasting benefits of higher education registration.

1. The Future is Private Higher Education

There is little doubt that private higher education is the future of adult education. Government run education, such as the vocational education and training sector, is expensive, costly and in a sense, anti-educational. Governments really have no business running education, and it should all, in our view, be run by the private sector. While many groups believe that universities should be free, few would doubt that their ethos and approach to education should be free from government intervention. Unfortunately this is not the case with government subsidized education.

By creating more variety and diversity in the education system, supporting entrepreneurs and business people to create businesses (especially education businesses) is the future of the ‘knowledge economy’.

2. More Diversity in Educational Offerings

A stated object of the TEQSA Act is to provide diversity in the higher education sector. A little known fact is that Australia has (at the time of writing) a substantial variety of higher education providers. These include groups offering religious, psychological, legal, alternative education, and specialist industry skills. If you have visited already, we recommend visiting our Higher Education Guide which highlights this rich variety.

For providers seeking entry into higher education, their size, offering or approach to education should not be a deterrent. Australia should be proud of diversity and variety in higher education, and it is unfortunate that this message is not promoted or encouraged or understood more.

3. The Decline of Vocational Education and Training

Since 2016, the Australian government and public service has declared a war on vocational education and training. The decline of vocational education and training has seen countless large, small and in-between education providers, de-funded and put out of business. Without government funding, many Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) have not been able to continue trading and have been highly dependent on public fundings to provide their service. While the spotlight in 2016 was on pointing to ‘rorts’ in the VET sector, the intense scrutiny has really been an attack on those taking risks to set up their RTOs.

Unfortunately, with the decline and continued attack on VET providers, there are few places left to go then up. Many VET providers have sought higher education and not done particularly well, however. Having said this, there is little choice for many than to pursue higher education registration.

4. Breaking Up a Monopoly Industry

Universities in Australia educate over 90% of students. There are few other markets which have a business control over 90% of the market, and if there was, it is most certain that there would be calls to break up that industry. A number of reports from university vice-chancellors have encouraged the development of private, niche higher education providers, particularly those in teaching and learning. This is a good idea.

Universities should focus on research and development, theory, and knowledge advancement. However, this is not the focus of many universities. Instead, it is to import international students, maintain a large bureaucracy and fund large infrastructure projects and tenured professors. Breaking up this monopoly would stimulate more energy in the economy, focussed and competitive education markets, and more choice for those seeking new skills and knowledge.

5. Business Survival

For many RTOs, it is an unfortunate situation that they are put into a situation of pursuing higher education or going out of business. Our view is that if you are going to pursue higher education, you should at least have resources and advice to guide you through the process. It is not a simple process, and it is for this reason we exist.

Often pursuing higher education is an emotionally charged time for owners and entrepreneurs. Unused to taking risks, they see higher education registration as a risky proposition. And it is. However, the choice is to pursue business survival and invest in seeking higher education and being apart of a growing industry. Or going out of business.

6. Greater Choice for Students

Higher education provides greater choices for students. Being able to complete vocational education studies and then stay with the same institution to complete higher education qualifications is a great advantage for students. Many international students are attracted to higher education as it creates greater choice for them. They can take advantage of niche and focussed education, getting to know their lecturers and college, without the anonymity and bureaucracy of university education.

Students also have benefits of studying subject matter and in environments not often at university. For those who ‘miss out’ on higher education at a university, smaller, niche higher education providers can provide a commensurate quality at a fraction of the price.

7. Legacy

A major reason to move into higher education is to create a legacy. While Australia is going through a transition, and the smallish private higher education is in a nascent phase, it is undoubtedly true that over the coming decades it will grow. In the coming decades, there will be a legacy and status for private higher education that have some history behind them. Of course, being an owner/founder of a higher education provider (hopefully university by then) will be a great achievement in its own right.

It must be said that higher education registration is not easy, however, most great achievements are a challenge. This is why great legacies are possible.

 

 

 

Does Social Media Directed Learning Work?

Social Media Directed Learning

by Ellen Wardle

“A social media environment can be leveraged to offer a broad range of learning experiences in an online format.” – The Omniview

Author and online activist John Green declared in a 2012 Ted X Talk, that it was online video and the content creation community that had brought him back into the world of learning as an adult, past the point of his tertiary education. The value of the community of autonomously educated people he had found online had reignited his passion for self-directed education.

One of the most valuable things we find in higher education is our cohort of engaged learners who have taken the time (and accepted the costs) to pursue their individual interests through tertiary education.

Online Video and Social Media

Online video and other social media have spawned a selection of interactive (and often free) learning opportunities among teens and adults alike. Anyone with an internet connection can learn monetizable skills such as coding, photography, copyediting, and even take up a hobbyist interest in physics if they please – all on their own terms and according to whatever schedule they keep.

Those who are multilingual content creators could very well be the new renaissance man – copywriters, educators, photographers, videographers and editors with web-building abilities. These polymath’s have, as mentioned above, drawn from different streams of complex knowledge and development to create entirely new industries and revolutionise others.

“Humans are limitless in their capacity for development” was a pillar of thought within renaissance humanism. If so, the persistence of contemporary society to continue in the trends of the industrial revolution, despite such huge technological advances – that impact even the most mundane activities in our micro lives – seems short sighted. There is a widespread argument that technology is making us stupid – but perhaps it’s just making us different. Perhaps it is a redesign of those renaissance-age studies of humanities – but the humanities no longer consist of the same subjects – such as history and grammar, but something more necessary for this societal evolution, more efficient, more interactive, visual and social.

Higher Education is Self-Directed

Much of higher education is self-directed. Yet even in 2018 education institutions are still directing students toward libraries where we peruse books or online articles largely on our own and without community. Commonly-used higher education websites that look to build communities or offer an online module for higher education, and distant/mature students such as Moodle, suffer from a somewhat outdated forum-like interface, lacking the graphical user interface and intuitive mapping that feels so natural to those seeking online information nowadays. The latter allows for learning based on an almost reactionary level – with the constant connections to smartphones and the download of new data to our brains mapping an efficient mode of learning that far outpaces that provided by many contemporary educational institutions.

If we look at the history of these institutions we realise that the mode of learning currently used reflects a trend that came about in the post-industrial age, and that with the capabilities of the information age, a more progressive view of the role of youth and learning might be created.

Enter social media and innate learning opportunities. Across the past 10-15 years we have seen a huge boom in online businesses – from e-commerce to the trade of skills creating skilled labourers who have managed to diversify their expertise across a range of industries, and in some cases blend these skills to create new ones.

The set-up of higher education offers an inherent opportunity for self-directed learning, the motivation already exists, as does the community. According to the Omniview, a company created to use data to match talent to jobs: “ A social media environment can be leveraged to offer a broad range of learning experiences in an online format.”

The Omniview lists the following as vital points of creating a self-direct social media learning format:

Goal setting, facilitative interactions, resource support, progress evaluation and recognition for goals achieved.

Resource Support

Resource support could be the most easily leveraged by universities given an SEO or algorithm based sculpture reminiscent of platforms such as Youtube, which uses both to provide easily sourced content of educational and entertaining content. An app like Instagram – which recently rolled out IGTV – a long-form vertical video application insulated within the Instagram app, or accessible via a standalone format – could be reformatted into an education institution housed within a smartphone. The interface for written, photographic, pop-up, and long form video or audio content has already been created, and the precedent for learning has already been set if we take note of the amount of people who have monetised content creation, or repurposed their accounts for education and activism across various communities. The standard for native learning has already been set for those of us who use these applications, disappear down information rabbit holes, grant ourselves passive income streams from consumers of our content, or absorb the skills of others by observing.

If we look at this theory in the context of recreating the material we have digested, as proposed by Peter Doolittle in his Ted X Talk ‘How your “working memory” makes sense of the world’, we can visualise already our brains reprogramming around new information. A quick video on how to use software to recreate something we have seen another do (such as set up a blog, edit a photo, create an animation) followed by our own experiment in the practise makes for faster and more efficient learning. Our brains are designed to learn in this native, interactive manner so well used by marketing geniuses through apps to sell desirable goods.

“Working memory capacity allows us to reach our current goals” says Doolittle – understanding our class-based content is a current goal. If that content were presented in a social, goal-based, open-plan manner the meaning extracted would be more closely aligned with our autonomous end goals as students.

Education can be structured via a matrix to create the best curriculum design, and the relation of social media to education can create open plan resource support that helps students define and conquer their short term educational goals by having students sculpt out those goals for themselves post processing.

The question is, how can social media and integrate and occupy a defined role within higher education, that reflects and enriches  current higher education standards?

Interested in Higher Education Regulation in Australia, Contact Us Now.

TEQSA’s Hypocrisy Continues

TEQSA’s Hypocrisy Continues

Here is an opinion piece from the Darlo Higher Education team on six clear instances of hypocrisy.

It’s always a concern for us when the Australian public service claims to take the high moral road. In reading through the Australian Public Service Act, it is pretty clear that there is a Code of Conduct that informs behaviours and communications by public servants, especially those in senior roles. It is even more galling when tax-payers are paying for this. Despite promises of ‘free education’ from some politicians, someone is always paying for it- it is you, the revenue producing tax-payer.

Here, from our perspective, are examples of hypocrisy that continue to prevail:

Firstly, how on earth can TEQSA conduct an enquiry and report on Academic Freedom? Thankfully, as Bettina Arndt has pointed out in regards to the sexual harassment hysteria on campuses, there was no epidemic and indeed Australia is perhaps the safest place on earth for females to study. There are also issues with false accusations to continue with. These are matters for the courts, and not governments or universities to pursue. Now, new minister Tehan, has decided to change approach and pursue a look into academic freedom. We think TEQSA is absolutely the wrong group to be conducting a review in this area, particularly as it is patently interfering in the academic market, has been criticized by the Institute of Public Affairs for being politically influenced and paying lip service to free speech. Speaking as a team from DHE, we note that there have been instances where TEQSA has attempted to suppress our free speech. How is it possible that it could give an independent assessment when it has contributed to the problem?

“TEQSA benefits existing players by creating barriers to entry that prevent competition.”

Institute of Public Affairs, https://ipa.org.au/publications-ipa/university-regulator-teqsa-has-lost-its-way-on-political-matters

My only hope is that this is Minister Tehan’s approach to have Australian public servants reflect on the limits of their role.

Secondly, if TEQSA is so worried about consultants, why do they constantly use external consultants in their own organisation? Why do they play favorites? And why do they call attention to some consultants and not others? It is well recognized that TEQSA shares the platform with those organisations that toe the party line, however, aggressively, in our view smears others  (and absolutely against the APS Code of Conduct, you can read it here). It is transparently hypocritical when TEQSA staff endorse some organisations and then critique others for mentioning the word ‘TEQSA’. It is even worse that when it is talking about consultants. I guess we may be confused, however, this agency must obviously be associated with or work exclusively with TEQSA so is on the ‘they’re my friends’ level. I forgot the word for that, nevermind. Hang on, it looks like TEQSA staff are endorsing consultants for their own agency, and yet telling others that they cannot get the same services for their own organisation.

https://salsadigital.com.au/case-studies/teqsa

Thirdly, hypocrisy relates to the differential treatment organisations get based on their size. Many case managers (reported to us) aim to create fear and anxiety for smaller, less resourceful, and less powerful higher education by acting heavy handed, while letting universities slip through. The media has continually reported incidents at various universities including bribery, research falsification, poor quality education where students ‘learn nothing’, and academics at RMIT selling eBooks and exams to students. And yet, it is typically not-for-profits, small business owners, and migrant entrepreneurs that get pilloried and, by some reports to us, bullied. Talk about picking on the little guy  because you don’t have the guts, clout or integrity to pursue the boys’ club.

Fourthly, while smaller and medium sized private higher education providers are the source of innovation in higher education, they are the ones constantly over regulated. Let’s make no mistake, the supposedly small loving business loving NLP and their ‘entrepreneurial’ PMs have been no friend to private free enterprise. Health and education are the two industries that need innovation more than ever, and they have not only blocked this entrepreneurship, they have gone out of their way to publicly attack it. The hypocrisy in our view is that despite all the blah, blah about innovation, there is absolutely nothing to support or encourage educational innovation. Instead, there is a target (and let’s be honest, open hostility and hatred) for the driver of the economy: small and medium enterprises.

Fifthly, there is constant talk in TEQSA’s media communication about innovation and diversity. How is it the case when all the commissioners are pushing their later years (and pretty much the same age), they are all caucasian, and they all come from near identical career paths and trajectories that this is innovative or diverse?.

Diversity at TEQSA: TEQSA Commissioners

There are gender differences too. The majority of senior leaders and those in positions of influence are men. Is that what is meant by diversity, having different types of men in different roles?

What it amounts to is a stale, old boys club, that generationally is stuck in the mass education glory years of the 1960s and 1970s. Indeed, most of the assumptions underpinning the TEQSA standards – a waterfall project management methodology, a hierarchical approach to organisation design, constitutions which want higher education to be shown rather than profit seeking (the source of innovation), and the reinforcement of the worst parts of academia – peer review, seniority for seniority’s sake, and physical libraries (to name a few), all smell and look like  a crusty old faculty of one of the sandstone universities. If the standards don’t allow for innovation (which they clearly don’t).  Where is the innovation in that?

Finally, correct me if we’re wrong, but the point of the TEQSA Act is to protect the international reputation of Australian education. If that is the case, why on earth is there a foreign CEO of Australia’s national higher education regulator? From a competing country (England) none the less, who worked at a standards agency in England, and seemingly by all accounts is a foreign citizen. Couldn’t the Australian government find an Australian to lead the charge? Or are they ashamed of the graduates that are produced inAustralia? Perhaps Australians don’t have the required skills?

On a separate issue, it is strange that a CEO of a higher education regulator would have no notable academic credentials and most notable association with academia as being involved in student politics. Again, can anyone see anything off with this scenario? Surely, it is transparently a conflict of interest, which is (a) why the APS requires public servants to be Australian citizens; (b) the APS code of conduct requires public servants to avoid any conflict of interest (and possibly the reason why the citizenship requirements are enacted in the first place!).

Looking at higher education regulation it is a gloomy state of affairs. As they say, rot starts at the top. Australian companies, taxpayers and students deserve more and better. Wouldn’t it be time to for the Australian Public Service to move with the times. Rather than having a regulator that is a bit of a boys club that supports elitism and clicks, serving ultimately as nothing more (or less) than an institutional gatekeeper, it is time to engage in true innovation, internationalization, and make Australian higher education something to be proud of rather than ashamed.

International Students: Exactly how Difficult is it to gain a place in an Australian University?

International Students: Exactly how Difficult is it to gain a place in an Australian University?

by Ellen Wardle

Education is big business, being Australia’s third largest export, according to ABC News . The international student market has skyrocketed over the last two years, now reaching above $30 billion per year. Yet, even with this industry booming, one of the major draws for an international student to look at completing an overseas degree, social and cultural integration in the hyper-globalised world, seems to be one of the major things holding these students back.

In 2017 higher standards for English Language testing were pushed through by Education minister Simon Birmingham, who had acknowledged that lacking English skills was a problem for lecturers and tutors, producing less-engaged students. International students were faced with the prospect of up to twenty hours per week of ELICOS classes to help level the playing field and ensure they met national requirements. Language and communication are of course at the forefront of social and cultural integration, an imperative task when it comes to gaining the best possible experience from an international qualification.

International Student Requirements

To obtain a place at an Australian university, foreign students will need to have completed their education at the same or higher level as the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Students will also need to be approved for a Student Visa (Subclass 500). Prior to applying for their visa, students must be accepted to study full-time at an educational institution in Australia.

Each university has a different set of prerequisites for international entry, aside from the new IELTS standard. Typically a band 6.5 for English is needed to obtain a placement within an Australian university, however, the score varies from degree to degree.

Pressure to Succeed

For some students the pressure to succeed is immense – with families re-mortgaging or selling their family homes to pay for their child’s education. Often students are exploited in Australia by businesses looking for cheap labour – meaning that students sometimes find themselves working too much to study adequately for the intense degrees they are completing. Students might also find difficulties integrating – particularly if their cohort is largely students from the same country of origin.

Many of these issues have been addressed by Chinese students: A state-run newspaper published concerns about the efficacy of Australian universities and state irritation over the Higher Education sector in Australia treating Chinese students as ‘cash cows’.

Some students have also expressed dismay at the lack of cultural diversity within certain courses. Business degrees overrun with Chinese expatriates have caused disgruntled students. This has been due to internationals feeling that they have not been able to gain the full experience of living in a foreign country when their cohort is so similar to what they had at home. Given the Turnbull government’s 2018 HECS-HELP loan changes, which could potentially lock future students coming from low-income backgrounds out of universities due to the lower repayment threshold and rising rent prices in university-adjacent suburbs and cities – less and less Australian students might be able to help their international cohort get the full international experience.

Because of these integration issues, university cohorts – both online and in real life – become invaluable resources for students. With students learning about their working rights, housing opportunities and conversational English via online open education platforms such as youtube, Facebook groups, or podcasts.

Skills Gap

There is a defined gap in the market for social integration regarding international students, which can trickle into the job market locally and abroad.

“Social skills are important in the modern labor market because computers are still very poor at simulating human interaction. Skill in social settings has evolved in humans over thousands of years. Human interaction in the workplace involves team production, with workers playing off of each other’s strengths and adapting flexibly to changing circumstances.” Les Picker writes, in accordance with findings published in the National Bureau of Economic Research.

There’s no lie that Higher Education in a foreign country can create an intercultural connection invaluable to an increasingly western and globalised knowledge economy – particularly within our global online society.  An inherent understanding of western idioms and culture becomes paramount for market value – the appeal of an international degree in the jobs market. These days, it seems that the lack of integration for foreign students, lack of higher earning potential, and poor treatment is lessening the appeal. It also depends on the future market value of a degree within a home country if returning to that home country is within the students plans.

International Students and Economic Growth

For many international students however, staying in Australia is an appealing prospect – and another factor to consider in maintaining the industry and co-opting this into further economic growth. The socio-economic benefits of a skilled, tertiary educated workforce are many. The wealth of human capital is advantageous when looking to create future reforms. The capital that a socially responsible, community-first organisation designed to benefit international students should be considered within economic reforms in order to maintain the education industry. As it is, international students – who are subject to a much more upfront billing regarding their university fees than locals – remain the key driver in the financial growth of the Higher Education sector.

There is an argument to be made on the business spectrum of Higher Education – for this to remain a stable export in future,  the quality and draw to the degree must be maintained.

Interested in Higher Education Registration in Australia, Contact US NOW

5 Differences Between Vocational Education and Higher Education

Across the industrialised world, the emergence of a “skills gap” has led to renewed interest in vocational education. Schoolteachers with the best of intentions push children toward university, sometimes regardless of the child’s interest or specific abilities. This has led to not only a steep decline in young people entering the trades but also what some call a devaluation of work itself.

Experts, however, do not advocate for students to abandon university education. Students should realistically examine their own strengths, salaries in potential trades fields versus those requiring college, length of education needed to get into a field, and student debt relative to salary in a future profession.

Australia faces a skills gap crisis. From healthcare to the trades, national estimates indicate that shortages loom on the horizon. New South Wales, for example, speculates that the state will need 84,000 nurses and midwives by 2030, but may only have a little over 70,000. The nation already faces shortages of auto mechanics, welders, machinists, and many other basic fields.

Understanding differences between higher and vocational education can help lead to better choices, not only by students, but also from policymakers, teachers, and parents.

Social Stigma Attached to Vocational Education

Vocational education struggles against entrenched mythology. The most damaging myth lies in the idea that university degree holders alone drive the economy. According to the Business Council of Australia, “‘When young people leave school, the question is not ‘what am I good at?’ but ‘I want to go to university, what course will I do?’” This stems from the idea that university degrees automatically bring higher salaries than the trades. Certainly, this remains true in some selected fields. Humanities degrees, however, rarely bring salaries that rise above what an industrious plumber, electrician, or welder can earn.

The stigma extends to social status as well. Many parents, particularly in the urban middle class, feel that a child not attending university equals failure on their part. They often nudge their children away from vocational interests and toward university, often to the eventual detriment of the student.

Universities benefit from an educational prestige that they rightly have earned. Many of their degrees do offer value, even with student debt and time spent in school factored in. They do not offer, however, the right fit for every student. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to vocational education steers too many to universities that take too much money and time to poorly prepare many students who would have done much better with vocational education.

Basic Differences Between Vocational and Higher Education Programmes

Both higher education and vocational programmes can trace roots back to Medieval Europe. University originally referred to any location where education took place but evolved into institutions offering not only specific fields of study but also the opportunity to get a balanced education in necessary topics. European guilds developed the apprenticeship model to ensure quality workmanship in fields as varied as carpentry and brewing.

Vocational and higher education services must both comply with TEQSA mandates, but fulfil educational requirements in different ways.

Today, higher education offers hundreds of possible fields of study. It also, however, continues to require that each student pass general education courses designed to expose the mind to science, literature, history, mathematics, and other fields regardless of course of study. They confer associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees.

Vocational education continues to offer specialised education and training but has built upon the apprenticeship model. In Australia, students can earn levels of certification. Levels I and II recognise basic proficiency in a field and may require anywhere from a few weeks to months of coursework. Students earning level III and IV certifications will usually have studied between six months to a year. Vocational students may also receive diplomas and advanced diplomas after one to two years of study.

Those receiving level III and IV certifications, as well as diplomas, can apply their learning toward higher education degrees at most universities.

Vocational education also emphasises hands-on, workplace style experience. Students spend more time doing supervised training with equipment and less studying theory and practice. They often benefit from having instructors who still work in the field. This gives vocational education an immediacy and applicability sometimes not found from university professors and programmes.

Vocational Education Focus on Workforce Skills Development

Australia’s skills gap surfaces in a wide variety of fields at both the national and regional level. Given latitude and support, each institution can more nimbly and effectively create programmes that fit needs even at the local level. Vocational schools can quickly develop partnerships with businesses and other entities to create certifications tailor-made to specific needs. Universities have larger bureaucracies and move more slowly to create programmes. Also, specific skills education for a short time runs against the university ideal of a broad and balanced education.

Vocational Education Helps Non-University Attending Young People While Addressing  Regional and National “Skills Gap” Problem

Not every brilliant student thrives in a traditional university classroom environment. The ultimate tradesman in history, Czar Peter the Great of Russia, never set foot in one, but mastered trades from carpentry to dentistry. Vocational education ranks should grow not only from those who got wrongly steered to university, but also young people who gave up on education past high school because university style education did not appeal to them.

Short term certifications offer paths to good paying and sometimes even lucrative careers. Convincing more young people who learn best with their hands to embrace vocational education should expand the ranks of tradespeople, healthcare staff, and other fields vital to the national economy. Today’s high school students would benefit from clear understanding of the options of vocational and university education. From vocational study, they can learn a skill, obtain a good paying job, and avoid debt. Furthermore, they do not face the opportunity cost of years of salary lost to irrelevant study just to get a position that could have been obtained with a certification.

That being said, the longer time spent in a university studying certain fields confers advantages not found in vocational education. While those who work to maintain a bridge can make good money from vocational certifications, those who design them should study engineering and related subjects for many years before entering the job market.

Vocational Education Has a Different Student Environment Than Traditional Universities

Student lifestyles also mark a major difference between vocational education and traditional universities. At most universities, the majority of students reside in dormitories and eat in student cafeterias. Most of their life gets spent in and revolves around the university campus. This creates in many students a type of cloistering effect. Universities have for centuries developed their own campus culture.

The era of social media has also created elements of a universal campus culture, linking students of schools across the nation and the world. While this creates a tremendous intellectual ferment that can potentially spawn great ideas and concepts, it has also fostered increasing intolerance of social viewpoints common off campus.

Vocational education does not usually permit students to live on campus. They are more likely to hold a job and raise children while studying. Most live either with parents or on their own. Vocational education students more often share in the culture of their surrounding community rather than participate in a specific higher education environment.

Finally, deep rifts grow between the values of the university and society in general, sometimes creating clashes that spill into politics. Vocational education rarely fosters heightened controversy because the culture and values of students and faculty tend to not deviate as much from the surrounding community.

Other Nations Have Taken Action to Expand Vocational Education

Other industrialised nations have led the charge to reinvigorate technical education. Germany has always invested not only funding but also the perception of status into vocational education.

When the United States identified its own critical skills gap, state and federal legislators went into action. Students in vocational education programs received more financial assistance. Also, US Representative Alex Mooney devised a bill supporting recruitment of mid-career trades professionals to teach vocational education across America. Republican majorities in state and federal legislative chambers will likely continue to support President Trump’s emphasis on vocational education at all levels.

Meanwhile, the UK plans to expand their number of apprenticeships by 3 million in the next two years with the cooperation of major corporations.

Should Australia follow suit, this will change the landscape of education regulations and funding. Higher education and vocational schools will need TEQSA consultants more than ever as changes take place. Consultants can help vocational education providers work to preserve the freedom to forge partnerships with those who need skilled graduates the most. Another factor could be international schools registering as higher education providers for either traditional university or vocational students. This could also spark new efforts at regulation and guidance from the government.

Higher education services should remain a priority, but the economy needs to continue developing vocational education programmes to keep Australia among the top rank of productive industrialised nations.

5 Things to Consider Before Registering as a Higher Education Provider

5 Things to Consider Before Registering as a Higher Education Provider

Higher education registration is a challenging process for even experienced administrations. For most higher education providers, however, registration is a basic necessity. Colleges and universities not on the Register lack the same credibility and legitimacy as those that comply with the standards of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. Gaining Higher Education Registration and meeting TEQSA compliance confers a stamp of approval by the federal government ensuring that curriculum and courses meet national standards. It serves the same purpose as non-profit accreditation agencies in countries like the United States.

Even international colleges and universities accredited in their home countries would benefit from registering under TEQSA guidelines.

When considering whether or not to apply for higher education registration, it is important to consider a range of questions and issues. TEQSA and the National Register process may leave a lot to be desired, particularly in terms of private higher education and university education, but administrators should ignore the fear mongers. Registration confers benefits. Also, failing to register will mean that the school will lack a perception of legitimacy in many eyes while seeing the doors to many beneficial programmes remain shut.

Even though there are many ‘advisors’ or academics offering support services, you really need to think carefully about who you choose to have on the team. The path to registration presents a higher education provider with many challenges. No school, large or small, domestic or foreign, public or private, should enter the process without a plan and people able to implement it.

Private universities, who often find themselves at the mercy of biased tertiary education gatekeepers, face even more challenges. All schools, however, should plan ahead for the higher education registration process. That includes consideration of what needs to be done and where the institution can find assistance.

Registration Can Confer Benefits

The main goal of TEQSA lies in ensuring that every higher education provider operating in Australia provides students a quality education. Provider performance gets evaluated against standards set by the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015.

Registry confirms to the general public and higher education market that a school has met federal standards. These include standards for course accreditation, teaching and learning, research, and other fields. What the government calls “threshold standards” set a high bar for entry, but also guarantee to the market that the higher education provider has credibility and quality.

Another benefit of registry lies in a higher education provider gaining access to federal funds and programmes, especially student aid. Despite recent deep cuts to the higher education budget, Australian universities can apply to receive millions in aid from programmes such as the Sustainable Research Excellence scheme, Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Plan, and many other sources.

Higher education registration also gets important information about the provider onto a searchable database of institutions. The information shown includes

  • Legal entity name
  • Australian Business Number used for higher education operations
  • Provider category
  • Website of the higher education provider
  • If the higher education services provider can serve overseas students or students studying in vocational education
  • Other pertinent links, important addresses, and dates of renewal

This information helps both domestic and international students get better educated on their possible schools of choice, including both HEPs and VETs.

Meeting TEQSA standards and appearing on the National Registry serves as the first step toward obtaining helpful and sometimes necessary aid. While colleges and universities should always seek new funding streams from nongovernment sources, federal aid of any sort can help to improve higher education provider programmes.

Meeting TEQSA Qualifications

Be prepared to meet a long list of stringent standards to get approved for registration. The government in recent years has worked to standardise expectations of national colleges and universities to ensure consistent quality in education. Each one of these requirements comes from a different section of either the TEQSA Act of 2011 or the Higher Education Standards Act of 2015. They include:

  • The higher education provider appears as an entity under the legal definition of a regulated entity
  • The HEP has a clearly stated higher education purpose that includes a commitment to free intellectual inquiry
  • The HEP has in place a formally established governing body inside or outside the country, including independent members, that has accountability and exercises oversight over operations in a consistently competent fashion
  • Members of the governing body meet standards of fitness and competence
  • Members of the governing body meet any Australian residency requirements established by the institution’s charter
  • Staffing for each course is sufficient to cover the educational, academic support, and administrative needs of each course
  • The HEP can operate in an effective and sustainable fashion in accordance with all legislative requirements and the institution’s governing rules
  • Application for registration comes to TEQSA in the approved format along with full payment of the fee

Of course, an institution cannot simply meet TEQSA requirements to appear on the National Register, it must also prove that it meets these requirements. Providing this evidence and information can prove to be almost as challenging, if not more so, than ensuring compliance in the first place.

Wise higher education providers engage experienced consultants to help them successfully navigate the process. A team of experts can help navigate the process more efficiently and prevent costly and time-consuming mistakes.

Avoid One Person Advisors Because Registration Does Require a Team

Hopefully, this basic list of legal requirements for TEQSA approval convinces higher education provider administrators that they cannot rely on a single advisor. They should also avoid keeping their registration project in-house.

Even universities meeting full TEQSA compliance standards must provide evidence that they have met all legal requirements. This means hours of going through the standard paperwork and also showing proof of compliance

Most higher education providers, however, may fall short in some area. This is entirely understandable since the requirements are numerous and also rather specific.

The most frustrating situations involve grey areas and differences of interpretation. One example could fall in the requirement of the governing body having fit and proper members, but according to which definition? An institution may have to, in such a situation, defend the fitness of a governing body member to TEQSA.

An experienced team of TEQSA and National Registry higher education consultants can help make the process more efficient and manageable. Consultants can examine a higher education provider’s administration and academics to determine strengths and weaknesses in relation to TEQSA requirements. The team can then recommend changes or help prepare the HEP to argue its case that it does meet registry mandates.

Unfortunately, experience shows that private universities and other higher education providers experience more difficulties than others. The Australian tertiary education system employs a wide variety of gatekeepers who have biases against private universities guided by a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. This makes engaging a team of higher education consultants critical for private higher education providers.

The complexity of both higher education provider administration and TEQSA requirements make preparing for registration more than a one-person job. A team of higher education consultants will make the process as efficient and painless as possible.

Higher education consultants can also fight for course, curriculum, and administrative innovation within TEQSA guidelines. In the big picture, this prevents schools from gravitating toward “cookie cutter” education that serves primarily to satisfy federal regulators. For each school, consultants can help defend the freedom to craft courses that teach effectively, but differently than those established elsewhere.

Eligibility to Participate in HELP Student Aid Program

The government administers four Higher Education Loan Programs, known as HELPs. These programmes include four loan schemes and one student aid package for vocational study in VET schools. Specifically, the FEE HELP loan programme assists students in payment of tuition.

Institutions need TEQSA approval of their status as a Higher Education Provider to participate in offering FEE HELP assistance. To gain TEQSA eligibility, a higher education organisation must first exist as a corporate body with both central management and direction in Australia. The provider must also offer at least one approved course of study and have successfully completed higher education registration.

Higher education providers must go beyond TEQSA standards for higher education registry. They must also meet “legislative requirements in relation to financial viability, tuition assurance, student policies and procedures for fairness and equal opportunity, academic and non-academic grievance, refunds and re-crediting of a FEE-HELP balance.” These organisations must also keep up with changing rules on data collection and other paperwork requirements.

To offer study assist, VET organisations need to meet most of the same requirements as registered HEPs with a few additions. The organisation must have registered as a training organisation listed on the National Register since at least 1 January 2016. Also, they must have been offering at least one qualifying VET course continuously, or one or more series of qualifying VET courses without interruption, since at least 1 January 2016.

Higher education consultants can help a provider prepare its application to participate in FEE HELP. It can also suggest administrative and/or academic adjustments to make sure that an application gets set up for success.

In this day and age, almost all higher education providers rely heavily on students who use study assist to pay part or all of their tuition. Most colleges and universities could not survive without them, making it vital that they employ qualified consultants to both enter the National Registry and then successfully apply to disburse student aid.

If the TEQSA Application Fails

Sometimes the best-laid plans lead to naught. TEQSA, like any other government bureaucracy, can work slowly toward unpredictable results. When going through the higher education registration process, providers should always have a future plan and be prepared to assert their rights.

Rejection of a registration application does not represent the final say in the process. Higher education providers have an avenue of appeal through the Australian Administrative Tribunal (AAT).

The process as established follows a relatively straightforward path with opportunities for resolution at most junctures. Wise administrators, however, should have at least the outline of a plan in place in case of registry rejection. The AAT, depending on circumstances, will offer an appeal window of anywhere from nine to 90 days. Appeal fees can cost as much as $861.

Be aware that when the higher education registration application gets to the appeals process, that the institution now stands in opposition to TEQSA. If a provider has not yet engaged higher education consultants, they should do so at this stage. TEQSA officials have years of experience working on winning appeals for the government. Most higher education providers do not.

Higher education providers prepared for the AAT with a strong team of consultants by their side can appreciate the potential advantages available. The AAT does bring independent officials into the process. It also allows for the examination of evidence with fresh eyes. Even better, the AAT will demand that TEQSA defend their administrative decision to reject the application.

The AAT appeals process gives higher education providers a powerful opportunity to fight registration rejection if they have a strong team of experts to assist. Without a team to help, a higher education provider can truly end up at the mercy of the system.

Before Starting the Process, Engage a Team of Experienced Experts

The final important step in preparing for the higher education registration process lies in choosing the right team of experienced consultants to help steer the process to success. Darlo Higher Education employs a highly qualified team of academics, policy analysts, and commercial managers who know the National Register process from initial steps to completion.

Darlo Higher Education does more than assist in crafting successful National Register applications. It also helps to recruit qualified academic instructors and administrative staff, assemble governing bodies that meet TEQSA guidelines for fitness and competence, and apply for course approvals and accreditation.  Darlo Higher Education also assists in the AAT process.

All of these elements can play key roles in helping a higher education provider meet the requirements to appear on the National Register.

Darlo Higher Education understands that the process can be particularly tough for private education. It fights for educational innovators, entrepreneurs, and the students who benefit from their services.

Interested in talking to us about how we can assist in the higher education registration process? Why not email us now: info@darlo.com

To Discuss Your Application or Request a Proposal, go to our contacts page.

Jordon Peterson – Why Start a Virtual University?

Why start a virtual university?

Dr . Jordon Peterson suggests that it is time to start a Virtual University. With technology available, universities losing their mission, and a desire to create low-cost, accessible information, this is a significant challenge for large scale universities. When leading academics are abandoning the institution for greener pastures, it raises interesting existential questions for universities. (Transcript is below)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8mb9Ytx7Aw

the self-proclaimed professor against
00:02
political correctness is now making more
00:04
than 50 thousand dollars per month
00:05
through online donors and he’s got big
00:07
plans for the future professor Jordan B
00:19
Peterson made national headlines last
00:21
fall for refusing to use genderless
00:23
pronouns even appearing on this show and
00:25
I’ve been thinking about this political
00:27
correctness issue for a long time and
00:29
it’s been bothering me his viewpoint
00:31
caused controversy but also gained him
00:33
supporters who flocked to his YouTube
00:34
channel helping him rack up millions of
00:37
views for his online lectures now to
00:39
subsidize his production costs he’s
00:41
turned to the crowdfunding site patreon
00:43
a number of people have been attempting
00:46
to take me to task for the fact that my
00:48
patreon support has been let’s call it
00:50
overwhelmingly successful aiming to
00:53
build on his online success Peterson is
00:55
setting his sights on an even bigger
00:56
goal I want to move genuine humanities
00:59
education out of the universities where
01:02
it isn’t being taught anyways as far as
01:03
I can tell online where people can
01:06
access it freely
01:08
Jordan Peterson joins me now in studio
01:10
good to see you again thanks for being
01:12
here
01:12
well I start an online University well
01:16
because the technology is ready for it
01:18
that’s the that’s the most important
01:20
issue there’s absolutely no reason why
01:22
high quality education can’t be made
01:24
available to masses of people at low
01:26
cost so and since that’s possible
01:29
there’s absolutely no reason not to do
01:31
it I mean you just say low cost you’re
01:33
saying that students would wat only pay
01:34
for their examinations
01:35
well that was we’re not sure exactly how
01:38
it would how it would run but the one
01:41
possibility would be a monthly
01:43
subscription that would help pay for the
01:44
content but the primary source of
01:46
revenue would be for on the
01:48
accreditation and on the examination end
01:50
for sure so how would this work for
01:51
students what would they see what would
01:53
they learn well we would probably start
01:56
with a list of the hundreds hundreds
01:58
greatest books of Western civilization I
02:00
think we’d started as a great books
02:02
program and we’re thinking about making
02:04
a timeline imagine a timeline that
02:06
stretches say from 3,000 BC up to the
02:09
present time that you could zoom in on
02:11
and imagine lectures that
02:13
be available at different levels of
02:15
resolution so for example you might have
02:17
a lecture about the 2000 to 1000 BC and
02:21
the major the major occurrences during
02:24
that period that you could zoom in and
02:25
get specialty lectures where the
02:28
historical knowledge was detailed enough
02:30
to provide information at that level of
02:32
resolution and then the content I don’t
02:35
know yet
02:36
I think getting the underlying technical
02:39
structure right at the moment is more
02:40
important than the content because I
02:42
think content would generate itself if
02:43
the incentive systems were set up
02:45
properly why do you think this would
02:47
work more effectively than traditional
02:49
university format because the
02:51
traditional universities have abandoned
02:53
the humanities they become almost
02:55
entirely corrupt as far as I can tell
02:57
but you are a tenured university
02:59
professor at the University of Toronto
03:00
yes so how do you reconcile those two
03:03
well the university disciplines that
03:05
still have some grounding in science
03:07
seem to be I would say still intact but
03:10
the humanities we know for example that
03:12
in the United States the ratio of
03:14
Democrats to Republicans in the
03:16
humanities is about 30 to 1 he’s taken
03:18
an unbelievable leftward tilt and about
03:21
80 percent of humanities papers are
03:23
never cite at once and the humanities
03:25
have been dominated by a kind of
03:27
postmodern Neel Marxist what would you
03:29
call it cult ideologies since the 1990s
03:32
probably starting in the 1960s and so
03:35
they’ve abandoned their mission to
03:36
students their mission should be to
03:38
teach students to speak to think and to
03:41
read and to become familiar with the
03:43
best of the world fundamentally so that
03:45
they can hone their cognitive skills and
03:47
operate effectively in the world and I
03:49
don’t believe they’re doing that at all
03:50
I think it’s a scam pretty much from top
03:52
to bottom and it’s a very expensive scam
03:54
so it’s too top-heavy it’s gonna topple
03:56
so would you continue to work at the
03:59
University of Turin sure if you started
04:00
at this this online university platform
04:02
yes definitely what’s been the reaction
04:05
from your colleagues Oh minimal I mean
04:07
the reaction from the university to to
04:11
the political turmoil that I was
04:13
embroiled in was first negative and then
04:16
I would say neutral and now things seem
04:18
to be just fine my colleagues haven’t
04:21
really said anything either about the
04:23
political turmoil about this plan so but
04:26
I don’t think that the plan
04:27
the change I don’t think will come from
04:29
within the universities anyways because
04:30
generally speaking when there’s a new
04:32
technology introduced it isn’t the old
04:34
systems that adopt it they’re not
04:37
capable of operating in the new tech
04:40
technological world because it requires
04:42
a new approach and you might say asked
04:44
well why do I have the expertise to do
04:46
that and perhaps I don’t but I have
04:48
worked on software development for 25
04:50
years and I have some good partners and
04:52
a lot of people who are interested in
04:53
helping me with this it seems like a lot
04:54
of people you know $50,000 a month
04:56
there’s a lot of money by that I’m
04:58
staggered daily by that of course it’s
05:01
absolutely overwhelming and that money
05:03
goes to well it goes to right at the
05:06
moment one of the things that’s helped
05:07
funding is I’m doing a series on the
05:09
psychological significance of the
05:11
biblical stories and I used that money
05:13
to rent the Isabel Bader theatre upfront
05:16
for 12 weeks and to hire a film crew and
05:18
it goes in part to help me cover the
05:20
costs of the videos that I keep making
05:23
and it also well that’s fundamentally
05:25
what it’s doing at the moment when do
05:27
you expect this to be up and running
05:28
that’s a very good question
05:31
I mean we’re going to start with a
05:32
website in the next month and a half
05:34
that will be designed to help students
05:36
and their parents identify postmodern
05:38
content in courses so that they can
05:40
avoid them so I’ve been working with a
05:42
specialist in artificial intelligence
05:43
who’s written a script to to
05:46
discriminate between postmodern
05:48
neo-marxist course content and classical
05:51
content in the sciences and humanities
05:53
and so we’ll have a consumer information
05:54
website up in a month and I’m hoping
05:57
that over about a five year period a
05:58
concerted effort could be made to knock
06:00
the enrollment down in postmodern new
06:03
Marxist cult classes by 75% across the
06:06
West so our plan initially is to cut off
06:09
the supply to the people who are running
06:11
the indoctrination cults watching Jordan
06:13
Peterson thanks for being here this
06:15
morning
06:15
all right pleasure here’s a question
06:16
well I post here’s the question let’s
06:18
let’s have a real question can men and
06:20
women work together in the workplace yes
06:22
I how do you do it
06:23
how do you know because I work with I’ve
06:24
worked a lot of for me right well it’s
06:26
been happening for what 40 years and and
06:29
things are deteriorating very rapidly at
06:31
the moment in terms of the relationships
06:32
between men and women it’s like we don’t
06:34
know if men and women can work together
06:37
forty years ago I would
06:39
I don’t know if I was a white man I
06:41
would be Jacqueline’s boss and I could
06:43
have done whatever I wanted
06:45
right and that there would be almost no
06:46
recourse that the that a woman who’s
06:48
working under me would have now they
06:50
have some recourse I mean it’s a is that
06:52
it was recourse back then too you could
06:54
take people to the police you think that
06:56
was happening a lot I mean like it’s a
06:59
dreadful thing to have to go to the
07:01
police I guess I’m essentially assaulted
07:02
if you feel like like there’s a
07:05
reduction in harm right that don’t
07:07
things are better so you feel like right
07:09
now the atmosphere in corporate
07:12
workplace is the exact same that it was
07:14
40 years ago
07:15
no but I’m not sure I’m not saying that
07:16
it’s any better it’s not any better well
07:19
maybe it is yes yeah not to ask you just
07:22
sort of prove a negative but what I
07:23
think that there is plenty of evidence
07:25
if you look at all the stories that are
07:27
coming out you do not feel like any of
07:29
the stories that you’ve heard about what
07:31
Hollywood is like do you feel like
07:32
that’s not evidence that this is a
07:34
problem evidence that Hollywood is a
07:36
problem yeah yeah but when I look at
07:39
Hollywood all these people coming out of
07:41
Hollywood talking about how sexual
07:44
misbehavior is a problem and I think
07:46
people in Hollywood are talking about
07:48
that they’ve been capitalizing on sexual
07:50
misbehavior for like a hundred years but
07:53
that I mean look those are unrelated and
07:55
all the professor should know like about
07:59
correlation and causation like you’re
08:01
you’re basically saying well you know
08:03
there have been movies with sex in it
08:05
therefore a PA on the set of a movie of
08:08
course should be expected to be sexually
08:10
harassed
08:10
no I’m saying those two are those two
08:12
our separate worlds in any sort of pure
08:14
logical sense like your that that is
08:16
just a classic mix-up of correlation why
08:18
are they separate worlds we don’t know
08:20
how to draw the boundaries because well
08:21
here’s well here’s the question we could
08:23
like any movie that has like if you talk
08:25
about sex in your in your classroom or
08:27
if you talk about sexual behavior in
08:29
your classroom and another classroom
08:31
does not talk about sexual behavior at
08:33
all you feel like your classroom would
08:34
have a higher chance or a higher
08:36
incidence rate of sexual assault or hell
08:38
but I would say that if I if I if I was
08:40
part of an organization that built
08:42
entire dozens of careers on sexual
08:44
provocative Ness I would be very careful
08:46
about like waiving the ethical flag in
08:48
the sexual wars so you don’t think
08:50
Hollywood doesn’t exploit sex hasn’t the
08:52
femme
08:53
been saying that for 30 years the entire
08:55
entertainment industry does nothing but
08:57
exploit women sexually is that true or
08:59
not and if it is true then aren’t they
09:01
contributing to the problem and if
09:03
they’re contributing to the problem
09:04
where is all the ethical that you’re
09:06
you’re arguing at that point that
09:08
Hollywood is one sort of Titanic idea
09:10
that it is one sort of that a woman who
09:12
works in entertainment must then like
09:15
pledge allegiance to this idea of a sort
09:17
of totemic Hollywood and not come out
09:19
and give her story like they’re saying
09:21
right like if that said she’s like
09:23
somehow complicit in all of it with the
09:26
degree to which we’re all complicit in
09:28
what’s going on is unspecified I said
09:30
already you know we don’t know how to
09:31
have an adult conversation about sex
09:33
it’s not surprising it’s not the least
09:36
bit surprising so like so then what is
09:39
it then like cos your that it’s this
09:41
seems to be like the sort of
09:42
collectivist thinking that you rail
09:44
against you know you’re saying that
09:45
Hollywood is one thing and that
09:47
Hollywood made its own bed and therefore
09:50
Hollywood should not speak about this
09:52
issue because they’re the ones that were
09:53
putting this agenda no it isn’t that
09:55
they shouldn’t speak about it or that
09:57
they should be neither clear about it
09:58
forty two they should speak carefully
10:00
about it do you feel like they’re not
10:02
feeding carefully absolutely they’re not
10:04
speaking carefully no not in the least
10:07
what what is out of control about it
10:11
well trial by public opinion I suppose
10:14
is part of what’s out of control about
10:15
it
10:15
trial by public opinion do you think
10:18
that’s what’s happening yeah to some
10:20
degree sure it’s very easy for people to
10:22
come forward with accusations and
10:23
demolish someone’s reputation that’s
10:25
trial by public opinion so we don’t have
10:29
it we don’t have any conversation about
10:30
the other side of the of the coin you
10:33
don’t think women manipulate men
10:34
sexually for advancement in the
10:35
workplace do you not do you not think
10:38
that there has been any sort of pushback
10:39
against against us me to movement at all
10:41
yeah there’s been some okay so then then
10:44
what do you mean we don’t have
10:45
conversations about the other side it
10:46
seems like every time I read any sort of
10:48
publication it’s split more or less
10:50
50/50 and actually increasingly more
10:52
towards like maybe this thing is out of
10:54
control it seems like that narrative
10:55
certainly out there yeah true it is it
10:57
has started to emerge in the last couple
10:59
of weeks that’s true yeah so then I
11:01
don’t understand I guess I don’t
11:03
understand the question
11:04
exactly well my question is essentially
11:06
that like when is there sexual
11:08
harassment in the workplace yes
11:09
should it stop that’d be good if it did
11:12
that’d be good
11:14
will it well not at the moment it won’t
11:18
because we don’t know what the rules are
11:19
do you think men and women can work in
11:21
the workplace together I don’t know
11:22
without sexual harassment
11:23
we’ll see well how many years will it
11:26
take for men and women working in a
11:27
workplace together more than four in a
11:29
sense more than 40 mm-hmm we’re new at
11:32
this we’re new at this
11:33
absolutely we’re completely new at it
11:35
it’s only been a couple of generations
11:37
that’s part of the problem right is that
11:39
we don’t know what the rules are like
11:41
what here’s a rule how about no makeup
11:43
in the workplace why would that came
11:46
from why should you wear makeup in the
11:48
workplace wasn’t that sexually
11:49
provocative no it’s not no what is it
11:53
then what’s the purpose of makeup but
11:55
some people would like to just put on
11:57
makeup why I don’t know why why do you
12:01
make your lips red because they turn red
12:03
during sexual arousal
12:04
that’s why why do you put Rouge on your
12:06
cheeks same reason so your argument I’m
12:10
not saying that you shouldn’t wear
12:11
makeup oh no I’m not saying that but
12:13
you’re saying that that I’m saying we
12:15
didn’t want to put on our makeup in the
12:17
workplace that they have sexualized
12:19
themselves in a way that’s what makeup
12:21
sport would that’s self-evident that why
12:24
else would you wear it though let me
12:26
mean when women put on makeup in the
12:28
workplace when they make their lips red
12:29
when they sort of put on Rouge right
12:31
that when they enter that workplace if
12:34
the man notices that that there is sort
12:36
of a elicit ‘no switch the woman has
12:40
said I am going to sexualize myself in
12:42
the workplace and therefore whatever
12:44
comes will come no I didn’t say the last
12:46
part of that so I didn’t say so whatever
12:49
comes will come but I think the issue of
12:52
complicit how about high heels
12:54
how about high heels what are they about
12:57
how you what about them
12:58
they’re there to exaggerate sexual
13:01
attractiveness that’s what high heels do
13:03
they tilt your they tilt your pelvis
13:05
forward so your hip stick oh that’s what
13:07
they do and they tighten up your calf
13:09
muscles there are sexual display now I’m
13:12
not saying that people shouldn’t use
13:13
sexual displays in the workplace I’m not
13:15
saying that but I am
13:17
saying that that is what they’re doing
13:19
and that is what they’re doing so what
13:21
is it relevant then to like sexual
13:23
harassment in the workplace then if you
13:24
can’t make well the Mau is put everybody
13:26
in uniforms to stop that sort of thing
13:28
from happening
13:28
men wear uniforms that’s a weird way
13:30
they wear suits I guess I’m not seeing
13:33
this sort of coherence of the the
13:35
thought that you’re putting together
13:36
then because what are the rules that
13:38
govern sexual interactions between men
13:40
and women in the workplace yes the
13:41
answer is we don’t know right so I’m
13:45
throwing out some questions how about
13:46
makeup oh that’s okay
13:49
is it why why is it okay well I would
13:53
think that there’s certain ownership
13:55
over one’s body that they can take
13:57
without how about negligence well going
14:00
too far if you had a workplace with
14:02
negligees I think that there would be
14:03
some sort of standard idea that maybe
14:05
that would be a sexualized okay so
14:07
there’s some line between lipstick and
14:09
negligees but yeah one across ok thrown
14:11
up where exactly is the line well I
14:13
think that you know much like Justice
14:16
Scalia said pornography is something
14:18
that you can feel or that you know it
14:21
when when you see it I would say that
14:23
that me that sort of it you know what
14:25
using to me you know and I really do
14:27
just mean this in sort of a debate sense
14:29
which is that like like these are the
14:31
big collective ideas there are things
14:33
that you feel like are sort of derived
14:34
through through evolution that that
14:36
people do come to a consensus that is
14:38
meaningful I don’t think that anyone
14:41
would say that wearing makeup to the
14:42
office is in some ways like sexually
14:44
deviant or something like that or that
14:46
it’s inviting a serve atmosphere or
14:48
sexuality within the world I would say
14:49
that you second part sure it’s exactly
14:52
what it’s doing okay why else would you
14:53
wear lipstick complete the path for me
14:55
man that’s the part that I like for you
14:56
to do I complete the thought woman I’m
14:58
not saying that women shouldn’t do it
15:00
and I’m also not saying that it should
15:01
be banned but I’m saying that you’re
15:03
absolutely not even if you don’t think
15:04
that has anything to do with sexuality
15:06
or sexual harassment does it have
15:08
something to do with sexual harassment
15:08
in the workplace I don’t know because I
15:12
don’t know what the rules should be to
15:13
govern the interactions between men and
15:14
women in the work should people be
15:17
allowed to flirt in the workplace do you
15:18
know that let’s just yes or no question
15:20
do you feel like women wearing makeup in
15:22
the workplace contributes to sexual
15:26
harassment in the workplace sure it
15:27
contributes and so what should be done
15:30
about that
15:31
you as a clinician who believes that
15:32
there should be prescriptive ideas that
15:34
don’t mandate behavior but that will
15:36
guide behavior I don’t know I don’t know
15:40
what the answer to that is do you feel
15:42
like we’re mentioned where if you feel
15:44
like a serious woman who does not want
15:45
sexual harassment in the workplace do
15:48
you feel like if she wears makeup in the
15:50
workplace that she is somewhat critical
15:53
yeah okay I do think that okay let’s
15:58
move up I don’t see how you could not
15:59
think that it’s like makeup is sexual
16:01
display that’s what it’s for say well I
16:05
want to look more attractive like what
16:07
do you mean by attractive exactly so
16:09
then what is the better outcome for you
16:10
then a workplace with no sexual
16:12
harassment where women wear uniforms and
16:15
don’t wear makeup
16:15
much like the bow it’s like you were
16:17
saying or a sort of queer workplace in
16:20
which sexual harassment is an
16:22
inevitability because women wear high
16:23
heels and makeup well I don’t say that
16:26
sexual harassment is inevitability
16:28
because women wear high heels make up I
16:30
didn’t say that or that it is more
16:32
likely I said that it it contributes to
16:35
the sexual ization of the workplace
16:37
what’s the difference between more
16:38
likely in that okay more likely I’ll go
16:44
with that yeah more likely right okay
16:45
okay so which one do you prefer I don’t
16:48
prefer either of them Oh which one of
16:50
those two would I prefer yeah oh I
16:51
prefer the one where people have the
16:52
freedom and so within that what so we’ve
16:55
gotten to that point that people should
16:57
have freedom to wear makeup right but
16:59
that that will inevitably lead to not
17:01
inevitably that it is more likely that
17:02
sexual harassment happens in the
17:05
workplace isn’t that sort of saying that
17:07
if women wear like I was that not saying
17:09
that if women wear makeup in the in the
17:12
I don’t know what I said like you you’re
17:14
pushing it past what I said by a
17:15
substantial margin I said that we don’t
17:17
understand it really
17:18
but govern though that interactions and
17:20
in between men and women in the
17:21
workplace right we don’t understand the
17:23
rules and so I was pushing a limit case
17:25
that’s what I was doing I wasn’t saying
17:27
women shouldn’t wear makeup no I would
17:29
say there should be a question raised
17:33
about that and there is often I mean
17:35
companies have dress codes let’s say you
17:38
know and they never reason for that but
17:43
but the fact that we got tangled up in
17:46
this conversation is an indication of
17:48
exactly how difficult it is to have a
17:50
reasonable reasonable conversation about
17:53
exactly what rules should govern the
17:55
interactions between men and women or I
17:57
would objected that a little bit because
17:58
I think the reason why this conversation
18:00
has been difficult is because like there
18:02
are certain things where you’ll just
18:03
punt and you’ll say I’m not saying that
18:04
and you’ll try and be very hyper
18:06
specific and now look there are examples
18:08
of that where I feel like you were right
18:09
like I feel like the Kathy Newman
18:10
article or the Kathy Newman interview I
18:13
felt like a lot of what you’re what that
18:16
she put words in your mouth I don’t feel
18:18
like I’m doing that in fact I’ve been
18:19
extremely careful not and I’m definitely
18:21
not accusing you okay I’m just saying
18:23
that these sorts of conversations are
18:25
difficult not that you’re making it up
18:26
Dulli difficult okay I don’t think you
18:28
are sure so I I guess look this is a
18:31
this is a test case right like we’re not
18:33
here to say like Jordan Peterson
18:35
believes that this is true we were
18:37
talking about a specific test case like
18:40
we agree you arguing that that makeup of
18:45
sexualized high heels are sexualized
18:47
right when they enter a workplace the
18:49
workplace has a higher preponderance of
18:52
becoming sexualized yes how is that how
18:57
do we not then take the next step and
18:58
say that ergo if we want to get rid of
19:01
sexual harassment in the workplace that
19:04
your belief is that women should not
19:06
wear high heels or makeup in the work
19:07
well because there’s other potential
19:09
solutions people could well be you could
19:11
allow for a certain amount of sexual
19:13
attention and not act on it in a
19:15
reprehensible manner I mean look it
19:18
let’s say you’re married to someone
19:19
right partner okay
19:21
you go to a party do you ever flirt I
19:22
mean I don’t go to parties oh okay
19:25
do you ever flirt at all but do you know
19:29
how that is well look look
19:35
one of the things that’s enjoyable about
19:37
the interactions between men and women
19:39
even if you’re married is an element of
19:41
flirtatiousness that can underscore the
19:44
interaction okay you don’t want to get
19:45
rid of that it’s too tyrannical to get
19:47
rid of that but you’re playing with fire
19:49
you have to know that you’re playing
19:51
with fire and so there’s gonna be some
19:53
sexual provocative nests in the
19:54
workplace let’s say both ways
19:57
with fire and you need to know what the
19:59
rules are we don’t know what the rules
20:00
are okay how about what if I said it is
20:03
okay to flirt with your coworker from
20:04
time to time you know don’t don’t grab
20:07
them in the private well that seems you
20:10
know I think we could agree that that
20:12
might be a reasonable start right but
20:13
then of course you still have the
20:15
problem with exactly what constitutes
20:16
acceptable flirting do you feel like the
20:18
majority of people then who are sort of
20:20
in this mitri movement right now who have been speaking out yeah do you really think all of them are not a large saying that you can’t flirt at all you know or do you think most of them are saying you just don’t grab me in the privates because I would I just ask somebody who also has read about this who study yeah quite a bit he was followed it very intensely it really does seem like the messages like hey like you know don’t pull your robe off don’t grab me no I think it’s worse than that you do yeah well look at what happened with NBC now you’re supposed to report your coworkers if you suspect them of romantic entanglements that’s been true about American and I mean yours that is one symptom but this is a policy now it is one one company about citywide yeah it’s a it’s a response to it but it’s a bad response you said like is it only about not being grabbed it’s like no it’s not only about that if it was only about not being grabbed would you be okay with him well I’m not in favor of people being involuntarily grabbed
I’m not in favor of sexual harassment or sexual assault and not in the least I don’t I think I already told you what I think I’m a sexual conservative sure I don’t think people should have sex on the first date I think they should be very careful with sex right so I’m not in the camp of let’s grab each other under the mistletoe at the Christmas party because what the hell I’m not in that camp
English (auto-generated)

The Dictatorship of the Offended

The Dictatorship of the Offended by James Hennen.

This article was first published by the James G Martin Center for Academic Renewal. The article is written by James Hennen. Please support both the James G Martin Center and James Hennen’s work. The original URL is here: https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2018/04/the-dictatorship-of-the-offended/

The college campus is increasingly a focal point for shaping social norms, largely a result of rising college attendance; only five percent of the generation that came of age in the 1930s were college graduates, as opposed to roughly a third of millennials. Sometimes, however, this shaping is not always an improvement. In recent years, a new “victimhood culture” has emerged as a powerful new social force that threatens the liberal foundation of academic freedom.

Victimhood is a culture where an individual’s status as a victim elevates him or her to the moral high ground. Its hallmarks are taking offense in microaggressions, shouting down controversial speakers, and demanding “safe spaces.” The values of victimhood culture are encouraging an illiberal turn in students and academics alike, who label political disagreement and academic freedom as violence. Furthermore, they respond to skepticism toward that victimhood status by others with great emotion and anger.

The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars, written by Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, sociologists at California State University at Los Angeles and West Virginia University, respectively, describes how this culture developed and came to dominate campus. They use three moral cultures that have existed in America as a framework for discussion: a culture of honor, a culture of dignity, and a culture of victimhood. They also explain how changing norms are reshaping colleges.

An honor culture depends on a person’s reputation, which means people will respond aggressively to insults and challenges to defend personal honor, such as the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Dignity culture emphasizes a conception of self-worth that cannot be determined by public opinion, which encourages people to ignore insults and negotiate compromises, manifested in passive resistance techniques such as conscientious objection and protests for civil rights.

Campbell and Manning note, however, that victimhood culture draws from honor and dignity cultures. It combines “the sensitivity to slight that we see in honor cultures with the willingness to appeal to authorities and other third parties that we see in dignity cultures.” In emphasizing someone’s victimhood to gain sympathy and get someone else to intervene on their behalf, victimhood culture has found fertile ground on college campuses. Previously, dignity culture pervaded the campus atmosphere. Students ignored perceived slights or worked through disagreements among themselves.

Campbell and Manning focus on colleges for their analysis because they argue that campuses are especially susceptible to victimhood culture and its excesses. They note that victimhood has roots in dignity culture, as dignity culture was more willing to appeal to authority or third parties to settle a dispute two parties could not solve without violence. When victimhood coupled the appeal to authority with the sensitivity to insults and slights from honor culture, it needed an authority that is slow to question a self-proclaimed victim but quick to punish a privileged party. That atmosphere is found on many college campuses, and the previous dignity culture was slow to respond to the shift to aggressive demands for safety, even when “safety” was stretched beyond its original definition.

Reading Campbell and Manning, it becomes clear that college institutions are simply too weak to stop victimhood culture. For instance, they have lackluster due process rules in adjudicating sexual assault. Colleges cave quickly to student demands and tend not to approach victimhood claims with reasonable skepticism. As dignity culture has lost ground on campus, the incentives for skepticism have become liabilities. Instead of requiring evidence for wrongdoing before punishing a student, university administrators are expected to condemn the accused based on an accusation. Defenders of dignity culture have been all too willing in ceding to victimhood culture, possibly because of dignity’s affinity for negotiation and compromise.

Caving in to demands rarely brings negative consequences for administrators according to Campbell and Manning. Students who promote victimhood are loud and well-organized, and those who oppose it are less sensitive to slights. They also are not taken as seriously by administrators if they complain about victimhood culture. Administrators naturally cater to the students who threaten them with the outrage mob of social media.

Campbell and Manning do not elaborate on this point, but the public tends to be unaware of victimhood’s effect on campus culture. Established media do not devote much attention to the topic (nor do many campus publications) beyond the most dramatic events, such as protests at the University of Missouri and Evergreen State College that caused large enrollment declines after national attention. That reaction is a sign that people turn away from victimhood culture when they learn about its excesses. Conservative and libertarian media tend to be the only ones cataloging the number and extent of these incidents.

With limited autonomy throughout their lives, it is no surprise that some college students expect campus authorities to define what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Students are forced to sit through freshmen orientation sessions where they are harangued about their privilege and lack of cultural sensitivity, but those who oppose such attempts at indoctrination rarely object. At least, not with the vehemence shown by those who promote victimhood as the foundation of campus morality.

Of course, victimhood culture is bigger than just academia. Dignity culture’s obsession with safety and regulation have primed younger generations to adopt victimhood long before they reach college age. Many students grew up under “helicopter parents” and had teachers who strictly handled all disagreements. Children learned an ethos of asking for permission before taking initiative. Those rules produced a generation uncomfortable with freedom. With limited autonomy throughout their lives, it is no surprise that some college students expect campus authorities to define what is and is not acceptable behavior, even when dealing with trifles.

As Lenore Skenazy and Jonathan Haidt argue, “bad policy and paranoid parenting are making kids too safe to succeed.” Rather than treating emotional discomfort and political disagreement as an opportunity to grow and debate, they are awkward moments to be controlled. A majority of college-age students by no means buy into victimhood culture, but enough of them who do can shape a campus.

And Campbell and Manning observe that victimhood culture is not an exclusively left-wing phenomenon; some conservative students are now adopting victimhood language. One went so far as to falsely report a crime; a Princeton University student falsely claimed he was beaten by two men for his political views. Campbell and Manning are careful to note that the right-wing embrace of victimhood culture is nowhere near the scale of its embrace by the left, but they show that the conservative reaction to victimhood culture is not always a return to dignity, but the adoption of victimhood for different ends.

Whether on the left or right, when students turn to authority figures to settle insignificant disagreements, victimhood becomes politically weaponized. For the most part, though, victimhood is a weapon of the political left. Universities are “committed to a single vision of social justice, and alternative views are becoming sparse and sometimes forbidden,” Campbell and Manning note. Scholarship as activism has trumped scholarship as a pursuit for truth.

As victimhood culture politicizes more thought and action that was previously neutral, it makes clashes between the cultures of victimhood and dignity inevitable. Campbell and Manning chronicle perceived microaggressions that anger people, free speech that offends students, and research that contradicts progressive political norms throughout their book. To adherents of victimhood culture, the worst campus sin is not shoddy scholarship—it is offending someone.

Defending free speech and academic freedom is perceived by victimhood proponents as a facade for the privileged to harm the disadvantaged. Implicit or explicit bias, they argue, can distort scholarship’s pursuit of truth and institutional action is needed to teach the privileged about their advantages. Otherwise, they suggest that marginalized groups may get ignored on campus, graduate at lower rates, or stagnate in their careers.

As victimhood proponents believe the university is responsible for keeping students safe—and now offensive words are elevated to the same level of threat as physical harm—they must extend their authority over the lives and thoughts of students to a degree previously unimagined. So, in the name of safety and sensitivity, free inquiry cannot be kept as an academic principle within victimhood culture, according to Campbell and Manning:

Universities trying to involve themselves in preventing or punishing microaggressions are claiming jurisdiction over every word spoken on campus, over every glance or expression. Under any conception of free speech the exceptions are rare while most speech is protected, but this is far from that. The logic of victimhood culture means no speech is clearly protected.

Thus, victimhood eliminates academic freedom.

Campbell and Manning do not appear optimistic about the future, not detecting a movement of students or faculty in organized opposition to victimhood culture. “Victimhood culture keeps advancing, and we see no sign of it stopping any time soon,” they note.

As a counterweight to victimhood’s encroachment, Campbell and Manning recommend limiting moral dependency on authorities by removing administrative oversight of student life and strengthening free speech protections. But those ideas have not found campus support like diversity training and safe spaces have. Campus support for dignity culture exists in the form of faculty organizations such as Heterodox Academy or the National Association of Scholars that push back against overbearing administrative efforts. Campbell and Manning, however, do not investigate the long-term possibilities of this type of organizing. Some state governments have passed laws reaffirming the principles of free speech on public campuses, but victimhood culture remains firmly planted on many campuses.

Until taxpayers demand politically neutral campuses—or students organize to protest being taught what to think rather than how to think—it is difficult to disagree with Campbell and Manning’s conclusion that victimhood culture is here to stay, at least in the foreseeable future.

James’ Linked In Profile is here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonyhennen/

3 Reasons to Outsource Curriculum Writing

3 Reasons to Outsource Curriculum Writing

Many universities now outsource curriculum writing due to revolutionary changes in the academic world. Today’s higher education marketplace has gone global. At the same time, university administrators in some fields, especially mathematics and science have had to dip into a shrinking pool of talent. The increasingly competitive realm of college and university education has also forced administrators to innovate and adapt more quickly when it comes to adopting learning and training programmes or launching online options.

Outsourcing of curriculum and course writing brings benefits to experienced academics in universities. They will receive partners to help with unfamiliar challenges such as online design. Also, they will know that students in early level courses taught by young lecturers will meet university standards of instruction and integrity.

A leading NSW university (not the University of Sydney), for instance, uses a supplier to undertake product market research, marketing, recruitment, course design, teaching and evaluation of the course. The only thing that is not outsourced is the brand.

Here are some reasons why higher education consultants with experience in curriculum writing prove valuable partners in creating effective courses quickly.

Higher Education Must Adapt to Business Needs Quickly

Higher education services that specialise in vocational education must often create courses very quickly to meet community needs, but may not always have on campus expertise. One example from overseas illustrates the challenge very clearly. A wind energy firm received local permission to erect a large-scale wind farm in an area that had never hosted such an industry before. The company needed trained maintenance staff within a relatively short period and reached out to the local vocational education college. Within two months, the college had a certification program in place that met the needs of industry and helped locals win high-paying jobs.

In this case, the entire area received the benefit. The college got a regular stream of new students. Economic development officials trying to attract new industries could point to the college as a valuable regional resource. State officials also recognised the positive synergy between the college and economic development officials and started pointing to that college as a model for others.

In such a situation, outsourcing to academic writers who have experience creating courses and programmes can save time, meet all needs, and reduce the possibility of mistakes. In some cases, the ability to move both quickly and effectively benefits more than just one department in a college.

Traditional universities increasingly seek to maximise their shares of the education marketplace. In doing so, they will join vocational education institutions in working to develop effective courses and programmes quickly in response to requests or needs. These requests may come more from government agencies or professions requiring specific education and training.

Continuing education in confronting cybersecurity issues serves as one example of a field requiring constant updating of knowledge. The challenge of working in a constantly evolving digital realm means that continuing education remains a must and expert curriculum designers can help.

Sometimes Even the Best and Most Experienced Professors Lack Needed Online Course Design Skills

In most cases, a university’s best, brightest, and most popular faculty come from its older and more experienced ranks. Many of these professors grew up in the rotary telephone era. They have little experience with online course design, but university administrators want to get some of that valuable experience into e-learning.

Setting instructors such as these loose to design their own online courses begs for trouble. While they have mastered the content and materials, they will struggle in effective delivery. Curriculum designers understand that online teaching, especially course creation, requires an additional set of skills. These include the structure of the course, use of time, the inclusion of proper multimedia materials, handling student and professor interaction, promoting class discussion. Great course writers can help to facilitate all of these aspects of successful online courses and help professors tremendously.

Bringing in course writing and design experts does not take control from the professors but will liberate them to concentrate on what they know while not forcing them to spend a great deal of time reinventing the wheel. Administrators need to understand that experienced professors may welcome partners but will remain wary of anyone seeking to dictate or control the information delivered. Experienced course and curriculum designers grasp this dynamic and seek to assist rather than direct.

This scenario plays out often as many universities look to create entire MBA programmes online for busy executives. Curriculum designers work with experienced professors to make sure they can best express their ideas through an unfamiliar medium. With online MBA programmes finding success, universities will certainly look for other fields of graduate study in which to expand online education. Curriculum and course designers can expedite this process while making sure that the courses meet university expectations.

Outsourced Curriculum Design Can Maintain Academic Integrity and Consistency

Times of fast change, such as those occurring in universities right now, can bring problems of consistency and quality. Outsourcing curriculum and course design in some areas can ensure that the university responds quickly while maintaining integrity and consistency.

Many university administrators have responded to the increasingly competitive global education marketplace by moving more intellectual resources to research and away from teaching. This leaves department chairs to rely increasingly on younger lecturers or graduate student instructors with less experience in either face-to-face or online course design.

Younger lecturers and graduate students may not have full mastery of necessary knowledge. More importantly, however, they often have trouble structuring their courses in such a way as to cover the materials. Inexperienced instructors sometimes tend to spend a great deal of time on subjects of interest or deeper knowledge to them, not leaving enough time to cover others. This results in an unbalanced course that may neglect vital information.

Course design experts can also help to create course outlines and structures that allow lecturers intellectual flexibility within guidelines that preserve course integrity. No university administrator wants robots that all spout the same verbiage and use the same materials. They do, however, want each course to meet certain objectives. Students should walk out of every class with the opportunity to learn what is necessary to know about each topic.

Curriculum designers also serve as guardians of academic integrity when administrators want new programmes. Again, outside consultants have a good vantage point and the right experience to ensure consistency and reduce errors. Universities want new programmes to come out right the first time and to meet academic and other expectations. Course and curriculum designers can help a university do it right the first time, preserving academic integrity.

The Outsourcing of Course and Curriculum Design Going Forward

Universities in today’s global marketplace often have to think more like a private sector business. This means that they have to react to the market more quickly. Universities have to ensure that their ‘products’, both research and education, meet expectations the first time. With little margin for error and the recognition that time represents a commodity as much as anything else, universities have started seeking out partners for work once done in-house.

Going forward, universities will increasingly rely on outsourcing of curriculum design, course writing, and other tasks once done solely by academics. This mimics private sector willingness to employ partners to carry out essential functions. It will also help to free experienced academics to concentrate on what they do best and ensure that all courses and programmes meet the expectations of administrators and the public.