On CNN Opinion, David R. Wheeler looks at the overwhelming decline of permanent, full-time positions in Colleges and Universities for professors, reportedly being replaced by "an army of inexpensive adjunct instructors." Online education may be the final nail in the coffin.
Quite depressingly, some online education experts have already disposed of the word "professor."
"The roles of those who decide to stay in higher education will shift to things such as content specialists, course facilitators, course designers and researchers," said Jonan Donaldson, instructional design specialist at Oregon State University and co-author of "Massively Open: How Massive Open Online Courses Changed the World."
Donaldson believes a world without traditional professors is imminent. "The job of the college professor as we know it will continue to exist in elite institutions, but in most cases it will cease to exist," he said. "I predict that the change will come more rapidly than we can structurally or emotionally accommodate."
Sometime in the future, Donaldson predicts an improved higher education system, with better accountability and increased access for economically disadvantaged students.
But in the meantime, Donaldson said: "If our main concern is the happiness and well-being of professors, I'm afraid bad news is coming."
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