Thursday, December 23, 2010

Incentive pay for online teaching

The model developed at the University of Kentucky will probably spread as more and more universities turn to online courses to generate revenue. Rather than force faculty to teach online courses, the university will pay faculty who adapt a course $5,000 and share tuition revenues with the colleges and departments that offer them. It's a better system than at MNSCU, which was basically to force departments to increase enrollments (by going online) or face cuts. And it sounds like it's better than what the U does--I'm hearing that departments get nada for the online courses that they offer. But it could also lead departments to push online courses for revenue purposes without considering the (negative) pedagogical consequences. This scheme also looks ripe for the classic administrator bait and switch--provide incentives for departments and faculty to do something and then once the resources are committed, remove the incentive and recentralize any revenue generated. (Or just raise the cost pool charges...again!)

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