Week 11: Issues in Academics

Watching the two videos has been interesting. They speak a lot for the present situation in higher education, as it is presently!  The first video was interesting, in the sense that it highlighted the reality from student’s perspective. It spoke to important issues, such as class size, student debt, and many more. It’s actually interesting, and it felt so familiar. It was an interesting expression through signs shown by students. This was the first video.

The second video, was called “Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk” which can be found here. This is an interesting documentary about higher education, that was shown on PBS. I thought I’d just watch some of this documentary, and blog… However, it’s just a really interesting documentary, and it is true.

It’s quite shocking, when you hear about how personality types affect people’s success in college. And how people need to learn more about the resources available from the very beginning. It’s necessary to show people these resources. The documentary starts out with people who dropped out of college, because they didn’t have access to the resources necessary from the beginning. It’s sad to see freshmen dropping out, just because they needed more support or encouragement. It’s sad to see that matters of grade inflation and lack of communication of resources affect people’s enrollment. It’s sad that people worry about student retention by curving, rather than finding a way to help students to learn.

I liked how a portion of the documentary also focused on how to be a good teacher, and what things teachers do aren’t good. At the same time, I thought it was an amazing way to use the teleprompters for students to transmit answers to classes. And how they create discussions in the classroom in the midst of a huge lecture hall, and how people interact, despite the class setup. I thought that was neat. Also, living and learning communities in colleges also heavily impact students, and I thought that was great!

It was also interesting that they discussed the tenure track, and the risks people face… And how teaching to students, and how it affects students… Also, how teachers cut corners… and how they’re paid less than football coaches… So much in there that needs to be fixed!

There are a numerous amount of topics in this documentary that make it draining in a sense. Sometimes you wish you had a magical wand, to fix all the problems in higher education…  However, every faculty member has the ability to improve the world, and make things better… Make higher education as ideal as possible. I think students really need encouragement, support, and innovative ways to teach!