Thursday, March 29, 2012

Learning Innovation Network (LIN) Webinar

Yesterday I was a guest speaker at the Learning Innovations Network (LIN) Webinar on the topic "Does your lecturer need to be qualified to teach?". This followed on from my post on 7th March last when I commented about an article in the Irish Times - How Qualified is your Lecturer?

Image link to LIN website.
This was the first time I had taken part as a speaker in a webinar. I must say I enjoyed the experience. I shared the "platform" with Shannon Chance who is Associate Professor of Architecture at Hampton University - the session was chaired by Kevin O'Rourke of DIT. There were about 25 people attending - I hope they found the webinar interesting. My piece starts about 20 minutes in.

Most discussion was about teaching qualifications for third-level lecturers. Many at the webinar did have teaching qualifications. I sat on the fence as far as the need for having a PhD is concerned - "Yes", I think lecturers should have PhDs, but it is also important to give access to the many excellent teachers out there who are educated to Masters level.

A recording of the Webinar is located here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Household Charge

This evening I paid the household charge - €100 that will go towards funding local services, so Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) are €100 richer this evening thanks to me. I don't like paying this any more than anyone else, but it is the law and the money is needed.

Image link from Joe Higgins TD web site.
However, I would like that my €100, and the inevitable property tax that will follow next year be used appropriately. I hope that DLRCC spend it wisely - perhaps on the following:
  • library services
  • fixing potholes
  • keeping the lights on
  • clean water
  • cut the grass in the parks
  • more WiFi services 

I don't want my €100 spent on any of the following:
  • expenses for councillors
  • junkets for councillors
  • wasted on useless bicycle counters (like this one I ranted about last week)
  • parking warden wages in Dún Laoghaire
  • subsidising people who have not paid the charge
There are many people who have decided not to pay, and there are many advocating that people should not pay. The timing could not be worse with the result of the Mahon Tribunal showing how several corrupt gaugers got away with thousands of euro with no apparent consequences for their shameful actions. Nevertheless, I have decided to obey the law and pay. Choosing not to pay because of corruption by politicians is a false argument - we can protest all we want, but we still have to pay.

I listened to the radio news yesterday where there was coverage of a protest in Dublin against the charge. People had travelled from all parts of the country to express their outrage - as they are entitled to do. But how much did it cost to travel to Dublin? Petrol? Bus/train fares? Meals? How many thousands of euro were spent to get to and from the demonstration by everyone present? I'm guessing that many people will have spent at least €30-€40 to protest at a €100 charge - that they will have to end up paying anyway.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Belated "Happy Birthday" Twitter from @eoloughlin

On 2st March 2006, Jack Dorsey wrote the first tweet ever. It is now fair to say that Twitter has revolutionized the way people communicate. I have been a Twitter user since 1st May 2009 when my @eoloughlin account was set up - that's 1,058 days ago according to Twopcharts.

The first tweet.
Image link to Mashable.
When I am having my breakfast I now always check personal email (never work email) and Twitter on my iPad. It's great to see news items and what people are up to. I follow a lot of academic folks who are brilliant at sharing ideas and providing links to articles that I might otherwise not discover.

However, there's a lot of trivia and junk on Twitter, and  we need to choose carefully who and what we follow. Otherwise we'll be snowed under with tweets. I am following 493 people - sometime the flow of tweets on Tweetdeck is hard to keep up with. I often wonder what people who follow thousands of people do - speed read?

As mentioned in a previous blog post, my practice is not to have Twitter on during work. It is incredibly distracting and I am also concious that anything that I tweet is highly visible - eg to a student waiting for results of a test or an answer to a question. Also - colleagues (though very few are on Twitter) and managers can also see me tweeting when the expectation might be that I should be doing some "real work". I envy some academic colleagues from other institutions who seem to be able to tweet at will.

So - a belated "Happy Birthday" to Twitter. Long may it, and all who sail in her, live.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Busy Week, but...

This week has been the busiest so far this Semester - and it was Reading Week in NCI! Reading Week is a peculiar time for me. Formally it means no classes, but in my case the College took the opportunity to get me to deliver an extra two day course for a Government Department (which was incidentally a very enjoyable experience - the reason why I am in this job).

Image link to
Yet - I spent quite a bit of time this week checking the social media for reaction to Dr Paul Mooney's provocative article Inside third level from last Tuesday's Irish Times. Needless to say - this article provoked much conversation and anger at NCI's former President. His attack on the profession of Lecturers was felt personally by my colleagues and I, as his only time (that we are aware of) spent working at third level was as President of NCI. His article was a major talking point in the corridors of NCI all this week. As Professor Brian Lucey of UCD tweeted today "Haven't yet seen a single person come out saying they think Paul Mooneys allegations on universities is correct" - yet as I write this Dr Mooney's article has received 783 Facebook likes, 98 tweets, 18 Google+, and 278 shares. Clearly some people like his vitriol against us?

While thinking about Social Media, I am more concious than ever that people are watching. For example - I rarely have Twitter or Facebook on during working hours. I also am careful to post only education related blog posts during these hours. I have chosen to do this after a student complained that I had posted a "detailed blog post" while she was waiting for a response to an email. I fear being accused again of dossing.

Anyway - enough of this, I will write no more about what a bitter ex-president thinks of my profession. It's time for the weekend and some welcome rest after what I consider a busy week (even if PM accuses that this is a light workload).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A lecturer rejects the idea that his is a cushy job

Continuing on the theme of repudiating the bullshit emanating from Dr Paul Mooney, I read recently an item in The Irish Times "TO BE HONEST: An unheard voice in education" column where an unnamed lecturer writes A lecturer rejects the idea that his is a cushy job. This is apparently in response to a parent who complained about her son's lecturers. This lecturer felt "both angry and embarrassed" at our profession being "impugned as a cushy number". The author goes on to tell the uninformed mother that her son and other students should "be able to learn for themselves" and that "students to work without being spoon-fed". He/she also describes the hours that go into preparing and delivering lectures, and also grading assignments and marking exams.

Image link to University of Queensland.
In my own case this semester my largest class is just short of 200 students, while my smallest is just 19. This week (a four day week) I have marked over 200 continuous assessment tests/labs, prepared for next week's classes, answered several student queries, worked on a plan for a new programme, advised a student on his project for next year, and delivered 14 hours of teaching. This is what Paul Mooney calls a "light workload".

Professor Karl Whelan, a Lecturer in Economics in UCD, also responded to Paul Mooney this week in a blog post Paul Mooney: “Inside” Third Level? - he finds it "odd that an article with such a title can provide a description that is grossly at odds with even basic facts about how universities work". He could have been reading my mind as we have both posted similar articles on this subject. He also asks the question "How can someone claiming to be an insider produce such a misleading and distorted view of what happens in universities?". Unfortunately Prof Whelan describes NCI as "somewhat grandiously-named National College of Ireland" - however, he has made amends on Twitter when I challenged him on this:
Strong feelings all around - Paul Mooney wrote that it was his hope to be "controversial". He has certainly achieved that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dr Michael McMahon on third-level Teaching/Admin/Research workload

Following on from my previous post in response to Dr Paul Mooney's bitter attack on third-level lecturers in Tuesday's Irish Times, I'd like to draw attention to a TEDx talk by Dr Michael McMahon who is Irish, and is a Lecturer at the University of Warwick. This 18 minute talk focuses on "how modern day lecturers try to find a healthy balance between good quality teaching and academic research". He discusses how academics juggle the three main aspects of their jobs - teaching, research, and administration (and actually juggles three balls to prove his point).

Dr McMahon is worth listening to as he describes how institutions and he himself struggles with the demands of students, institutions, and academia. Each pulls the lecturer in different directions, and he is also keen to point out that students have a key role to play in how learning and teaching works.

Again - judge for yourself and listen to what Dr McMahon has to say:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"a philistine mind at work"*

Former NCI President Dr Paul Mooney has a provocative and pretty vicious go at third level lecturers in an article "Inside third level" in today's Irish Times. In the article he says that "lecturers have light workloads, research pet projects that have no benefit for Ireland Inc, and management is poor". Of course he is entitled to his opinion, but I as a lecturer take grave exception to his unjust statements**.

Image link to Tandem Consulting.
Dr Mooney does accept that some lecturers are "brilliant teachers", however he does state that "lecturers are lazy and don’t update their material" (I understand that he has used the word "lazy" before in relation to lecturers). Dr Mooney has form in this - today's Irish Times is not the first time he has had a go at lecturers. Two years ago I reviewed his book "Accidental Leadership". In this review I wrote:

"I didn't know either what to make of the description of Academics as being either Minimalists or Status-Ticians (pp 74-75). As I was first reading this I turned the page to read what the next/third description was as I (honestly) didn't recognise myself as either of the above two - to my surprise there was no other type!".

Academic research comes in for particular attack. Dr Mooney claims that a "percentage of university lecturers are actually completing their own research for a PhD during work hours" - he forgets that a big majority of university lecturers already have PhDs. I suspect he is targeting Institutes of Technology and other Colleges where the percentage of PhDs is a lot lower. The funny thing is that I distinctly recall a staff meeting when he praised a certain NCI academic staff member who had just started a part-time PhD. Dr Mooney even supported the introduction of a "research day" for academic staff as part of an NCI submission to HETAC for a new PhD programme (which was approved). You can't have it both ways! He rubbishes research in Ireland as "not even close to reality".

Dr Mooney was President of NCI for three years - in the article he had a go at management in third-level. I do partially agree with his stance on performance management at third level (I have written about this before on this blog), however - I do not recall any attempt by him to initiate reform in this in NCI. He wants to increase the amount of teaching from 24 to 36 weeks - forgetting that students will also be opposed to this.

I am wondering about the motive for this diatribe against lecturers two years after he left NCI - read the full article and judge for yourself. I am a Lecturer, so naturally I will not like what he has written. Clearly, this has been a bug-bear of his both during and after his time as President of NCI. I feel personally insulted by the article, in my opinion it also insults NCI, and finally it insults the hundreds of Lecturers in Ireland who do a good job.

* this post title is a direct quote from Dr Mooney's article in today's Irish Times
** all opinions expressed in this post are my own, and are not intended to represent the opinion of anyone in NCI

Monday, March 19, 2012

Obama nails Irish vote on St Patrick's Day

I like US President Barack Obama - if I was American I would definitely vote for him in this year's presidential election (no rich b*st*r*ds or right wing religious nuts for me). St Patrick's Day presents itself as the ideal opportunity for candidates to be "Irish" for the day.

Image link from Irish Independent.
17th March, 2012.
President Obama is part Irish - a very small part. But he wasted no time in grabbing some photo opportunities as he and his cousin Henry from Moneygall in Obama's "Local" in Washington DC sipped a pint. I'm sure there are many Americans who are seething with anger at the photo to the left - but politics is politics, and Obama will need every vote he can get. A "pint of plain" will no doubt go down well among the Irish in America.

There is also another side to this photo - this will be seen all over the world and people will see alcohol and Irishness mixed together. Not for the first time. For the first time (probably since I was a teenager) I did not go to the pub for a Guinness or two on St Patrick's Day - instead I visited my Mum and Dad and had a very nice glass of (Middleton) Irish whiskey.

A very grumpy Kevin Myers, writing in the Irish Independent last Friday, paints a very unflattering picture of the Irish on St Patrick's Day: "For upon March 17th each year, thousands of Irish people will live up to the caricature of the Thick Mick, the drunken halfwit who cannot be relied on to have one drink without having a dozen, and who feels it is his patriotic duty to finish the day by donning a Glasgow Celtic shirt, smashing windows, and stoning any police he can find". And he makes no apology for stereotyping us this way. 

We are not all like this: Ireland is the land of Saints and Scholars, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Boyzone, Roy Keane, WB Yeats, Jedward, Tayto, Guinness, cute hoors, red hair, freckles, Barry's Tea, red lemonade (with no lemon), Rory McIlroy, the GAA, Obama, accents, U2, being "grand", black pudding, the colour green, Riverdance, spuds, craic, turf, slagging, feck, and not forgetting St Patrick's Day!

100% Irish!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Waste of Money by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council?

A new bicycle counter has recently been installed by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) on the Rock Road in Booterstown. This morning I was the 206th cyclist to pass by this gadget (and the 5,650th this year!). So I naturally I stopped to take a photo and ponder the value of this gadget to me, to DLRCC, and to Society as a whole.

I'm #206!
The country is nearly broke, but yet there's money for cycle counters? What do the rate payers, and the soon to be household-charge payers of Dún Laoghaire, think of this use of their money? Would this money not be better spent on something more urgent (eg - everything else in the Council's budget)? DLRCC's website states that the council seeks to: 

"cultivate a cycling culture, through the implementation of appropriate infrastructure and promotional measures, that positively encourages all members of the community to cycle at all life stages and abilities as a mode of sustainable transport that delivers environmental, health and economic benefits to both the individual and the community"

So that's what it's for! There's another one outside UCD - perhaps a competition between the Stillorgan Road and the Rock Rock will promote cycling even further. But this could lead to cheating - I bet those folks up in Stillorgan would cycle around the counter a few times to get the numbers up!

Seriously - while this might in some way promote cycling, I think the money could be better spent elsewhere. For example, just past this counter the lead up to the Merrion gates is very dangerous for cyclists who want to turn right (as I do) over the railway. Perhaps a painted cycle track would be useful? This morning, despite me signalling with an out-stretched arm in plenty of time to turn right, a woman in a big BMW refused to let me cross to the right lane and kept on driving. The inevitable happened as seconds later I passed her out (resisting the temptation to give a 2-fingered salute) as she had to queue for the Gates while I cycled up to the top of the traffic.

The most valuable information to me from this gadget is that it was a balmy 14C and 8.45am - meaning that it was warm and that I was running late for work!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Chatterbox" by The Irish Times

I discovered yesterday that I got a mention on the Irish Times' Chatterbox feature in Tuesday's paper (13th March)! Chatterbox is a "What’s the talk of education" series, and on Tuesday it quoted from one of my recent posts: How Qualified is your Lecturer. It's nice to think that someone in the Irish Times office read my post and found it suitable for publication (or maybe it was a bot doing a Google search?). Small little things like this keep me going!

As a result of this I have been invited to debate this topic in an upcoming Seminar in DIT - more about this when it happens.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Corn Flakes and Commerce with Damien Mulley at NCI

This morning I attended a very interesting breakfast event at NCI which featured Damien Mulley - Ireland's best known social media expert. 

Damien Mulley.
Image link to
He talked to us mostly about digital media in relation to advertising. I have attended a few talks by him and he always strikes me as a person who is bursting to tell you stuff about what he does.

The main theme was that current advertising on the likes of Facebook and Google is "cold" and very "numbers driven". It lakes the creativity that TV and radio advertising has - being mostly text based advertising. He showed us some neat tools such as the Google Keyword Search tool to find out what is being searched for, and more importantly - what you would use this information for. He also showed how Google Analytics can show us lists of keywords that can be beneficial to a business. Overall his message was that there is a lot more room for creativity in advertising.

This was also a significant event for me in that it was the first time I took notes with my iPad using Note Taker HD. Earlier this week I bought an iPad compatible stylus and I used it to write notes rather than using my finger. It's a little awkward at first, but I found it useful and will continue to develop my skills in writing with a stylus. No more paper?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The "Candy Woman" at Junk Kouture

Junk Kouture is an all-ireland competition for second level students, where they are challenged to create High Fashion Couture outfits from old every day junk. My daughter Vicki has created an outfit called "Candy Woman" which is modelled by her friend Maria below:

Screen grab from Junk Kouture.

This is a fantastic idea that is sponsored by ERP (European Recycling Platform) this year. I understand that there are 80 finalists in Leinster alone - the East Regional Final takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown on 18th March next.

You can vote for Vicki here - I have already voted (twice!). All support for her efforts is gratefully appreciated - every vote counts!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cycling in Dublin on my "Motherfucking Bike"

I usually alternate between taking my bicycle or my motorbike to work. The distance is 10km and it usually takes about 25 minutes on the bicycle, or 20 minutes on the motorbike. As either a cyclist and/or a motorcyclist, I get a great view of the road behaviour of my fellow two-wheelers - this is because I get right to the top of the traffic lights every time. I rarely see motorcyclists breaking red lights (I never do this), but I see cyclists doing it all the time (I sometimes do - especially pedestrian-only lights). According to a survey of cyclists conducted by Semperit Tyres, and reported on in The Journal, "21 per cent were using footpaths, 19 per cent broke red lights and 14 per cent went against the flow of traffic". I laugh at that "19 per cent" figure for breaking red lights - clearly a high percentage of cyclists lie as well! I'd say it is closer to 19% who DON'T break the lights. Dublin cyclists are very good at wearing high-viz jackets, and most are also using flickering front and rear lights - but there are still many who do neither.

Attitude among cyclists is clearly different from everybody else - as far as many are concerned, the rules of the road do not apply to them, and they won't be caught anyway doing wrong. No wonder it seems like a war between car drivers and cyclists, every morning and evening. I see parents taking great care with their young children who are on bikes going to school - wearing helmets, waiting for traffic lights, etc. But this does not translate into good behaviour when the kids grow up, or for the parents after they have dropped off the kids to school.

Here's a YouTube video called "Motherfucking Bike" by the Sons of Science - it's funny, but clever. See if this reminds you of any cyclist on Dublin's roads...

Friday, March 09, 2012

New YouTube videos this week

Earlier this week I posted four new videos to my YouTube Channel - all are related to Time Series Analysis, and the use of Moving Averages to "smoothen" data and to predict future behaviour. This is the first time I have posted four videos together - two are in my Problem-Solving Techniques playlist, and two are in my How To... playlist.


Apart from sometimes teaching it in class, I have only ever used Time Series Analysis once - it was for my final year project as an undergraduate student in Trinity in 1983 when I studied tidal rhythms in the shore crab Carcinus maenas (L.) - I self-published a paper on this in 2008 (see here for details). My supervisor, Dr John Alrich, suggested using time series analysis on data I had collected for Oxygen consumption rhythms  in the shore crab, and he also pointed out that my charts would look "smoother" - here's an example of the results of one of my experiments using a three point moving average:

Percentage oxygen decrease over time

I don't expect these videos to attract as much attention as some of my others (they have 90 views so far between them in a week), but hopefully some people will find then useful.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Playing Cricket

Yesterday I played cricket for the first time ever. Currently there are many Indian students in NCI and they, along with some others, have set up NCI's first ever cricket club. They challenged staff to a cricket match which took place today at Pembroke CC in Sandymount. Having not ever played cricket before, but having played rounders, softball, golf, and hurling - how tough could hitting a cricket ball be? After all - I have seen it on TV! Ian "Beefy" Botham makes it look easy, so I fancied myself to have a go.

Not Eugene O'Loughlin,
but Ian "Beefy" Botham.
Image link to the Daily Mail.
The students batted first, and I was sent out to the boundary to field. The match was a 10-over each game, and while I was fielding the ball came to me twice. The students ran up a score of 68 for their 10 overs and I was bored. However, I did get to bowl for our last over. Following a quick lesson from the wicket keeper, I was Shane Warne for a few minutes. I bowled "two wides" and two "no balls" for four runs, but I was pleased that I only had three runs scored off the other six balls. So I was "7 for 0" - as we cricketers say!

It did not take long for the students to demolish our batting. I was eight in the order and at last my moment came. I picked up a cricket bat for the first time ever and went into the nets to practice. I did OK, hit most balls that were bowled at me, and I thought - here comes my "Beefy" moment. I walked up to the crease hoping to give a good account of myself. The first ball that was bowled at me I missed by the width of the Indian sub-continent. Luckily it missed the wicket and I had another go. I missed the second ball by the width of the Indian Ocean, but was still "not out". But the third ball hit the stumps smack in the middle, and I had missed by a margin only just wider than the bowler's smile as he dismissed me for a "duck". My 15 minutes of cricket fame lasted about two minutes! I was so disappointed to be out without even hitting the ball.

The Indian students were great sports and helped us a lot. In the end we were all out for 40 runs, but I can safely say that all had a good time - for most of us it was our first time playing cricket. The students sportingly gave us some practice with the bat after the game and this time I managed to hit a few balls. And it felt good.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How qualified is your lecturer?

This is not just a question for NCI students, but for all third-level students in Ireland. Gráinne Faller writes in yesterday's Irish Times and asks the question: How qualified is your lecturer? In the article, she summarises some of the statistics for the percentage of Masters and Doctorates among the Universities, and Institutes of Technology (IoTs) in Ireland. 
It turns out that the Universities have a high percentage of Academic staff who have PhDs, ranging from 92% in NUI Maynooth, to 61% in UL. In IoTs the figures are much lower - eg, 30% in DIT and 14% in Limerick IT.  Are you shocked by these figures (read more in Faller's article)? In NCI there are 13 full-time academic staff with PhDs (that I am aware of) - this is over a third of total full-time Faculty. As far as I know nearly all the rest have Masters.

My PhD was awarded by The University of Dublin (Trinity College) for my research into the biology of molluscs - not ideal preparation for teaching Project Management and Business Analysis you might say. So is a PhD necessary to teach at third level?

My answer to this is "Yes, but...". There are a lot of postgraduate students coming out of the Colleges - they have spent many years preparing for a career in Academia. People teaching on honours degree programmes should have at least a Masters, preferably a PhD. Anyone teaching at postgraduate level should have a PhD. But... there are not enough to go around - Ireland needs to educate more students to PhD level. A PhD does not make you a good teacher, but I believe it is a good starting qualification to work in this sector. There are also excellent teachers who do not have a PhD and are doing a great job - many have a lot of experience outside of Academia that will add greatly to a learning experience for students. The trick is to get the mix right.

So it is not an easy question to answer, but if "Ireland Inc" is to have a better education sector, then the percentages will have to go up - and by a lot.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

At the Dentist

There's always a nervousness when going to the dentist. I had a slight dart of pain in one tooth and decided to check it out. I have been attending the wandering Frank Dillon for several years now - first in Monkstown, then Henry Street, and now in Clonskeagh. Frank has just set up at 105 Clonskeagh Road (beside Bombay Pantry), and is open for business. 

Image link to
Frank is an Apple Mac mad dentist - he loves the shiny white computers, they match the shiny white walls, and shiny white furniture. Everything is really white. Thankfully he did not get a chance to use his shiny white drill on me!

Frank also loves to talk computers and technology, and I finally felt that I was on a par with him by owning an iPhone and an iPad. He did show me a new application for dentists called Tooth Suite - this is based in the cloud and is designed to save dentists a lot of money. I never would have thought it - Cloud Computing comes to the dental surgery!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Davy Jones, The Monkees, and Nostalgia

Sad news this week of the death of Davy Jones of The Monkees. I can't say I was a fan of his after his Monkees days, but he, Mike, Mickey, and Peter were very much part of my growing up in the late 1960s. The Monkees TV show (1965-1968) was a must for the O'Loughlins to watch every week - we never missed an episode and laughed at every corny joke and stupid play-acting that the boys got up to. Because of their TV show, I was more aware of The Monkees than The Beatles. I didn't have a favourite (only girls did that!), but Davy was often the funniest. At that time I didn't know the difference between Americans, English, and Irish - so I didn't notice that he was the "English guy". I searched YouTube for a good quality video of The Monkees TV Show theme, but this was the best I could get:

At only 66 years of age, he died before his time. I watched a biography about him on the Biography Channel (made in 2008) last evening. At the end of the programme he says "You're going to have to give me a shot to put me away, I'm going to be bothering you all for a long time yet" Sadly, this is not to be.

Ten seconds into the above video is the scene where The Monkees run towards the sea, but turn around when they reach the water. I, and am sure millions of other kids at the time, used to do this at the beach just like The Monkees. Great fun!

Davy Jones RIP.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

How would you like to go to MIT – for free?

Well - you will be able to later this year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will be offering free on-line courses to anyone, anywhere in the world, through its new digital arm, MITx. Margaret Wente writes in Canada's Globe and Mail - We’re ripe for a great disruption in higher educationMIT expects that MITx will eventually host a virtual community of millions of learners around the world (see press release from MIT about this here). MIT leading the way again!

Image link to Wikipedia.
Wente writes about the "disruption" that what MITx is doing will cause in a time of reduced resources at higher levels of education. She asks: 

" we really need 10,000 professors in 10,000 classrooms lecturing on the same subject? Why not let students watch the best explainer in the world explain calculus or physics – online, on their own time – and use local professors to work in smaller groups with students?".

In other words, choose your courses from different locations in your own time, and get the best learning experience possible. I'd certainly be all for this as a student, but perhaps not as an educator - mostly because it could cost me my job. However, Wente proposes that we have reached the "end of the line" with the old model of third-level education as funding cuts everywhere bite harder. She finishes her article by stating that Colleges "need to disrupt themselves, or be disrupted, to survive". I couldn't agree more - I do believe that there will soon be a class of qualification that is separate from our regular degrees, perhaps an "International Degree" that might ultimately be more useful to employers than a locally sourced full-time degree.