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Summary: David Noble Digital Diploma Mills. Norm Friesen May 13, 2006. A threat or a fad?. David Noble. Critique of online education from a social economic and historical perspective Sees online discussion forums and other technology as enabling fundamental institutional change

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Summary david noble digital diploma mills

Summary: David NobleDigital Diploma Mills

Norm Friesen

May 13, 2006



David noble
David Noble

  • Critique of online education from a social economic and historical perspective

  • Sees online discussion forums and other technology as enabling fundamental institutional change

  • These changes will weaken the university‘s autonomy –as a a place of independent and critical thought


David noble con t
David Noble, con‘t

  • A social historian: has focused on the role of technology in the „de-skilling“ and alienation of the labour force

  • Has looked at how standardization and automation of labour has created significant problems for workers

  • How technology supports a „conservative agenda“


Faculty under attack
Faculty under Attack

  • university teachers are losing control over what they teach, how they teach and for what purpose.

  • erosion of their intellectual property rights makes academic employment ever less secure

  • The academic workforce is reconfigured


Business models
Business Models

  • administrators claim ownership of the course-designs and teaching materials developed by faculty

  • the online university represents new opportunities for investors to profit

  • shift the burden of paying for education from the public purse to the individual consumer

  • „EMO‘s instead of HMO‘s“ (Health Maintenance Organizations)


Business models1
Business Models

  • Online Universities to be run as corporations:

    • UNext

    • Western Governors‘ University

    • Cardean University

  • But there are successful examples:

    • University of Phoenix

    • Private Universities? In Austria; in Canada?


Resisting the inevitable
Resisting the inevitable?

  • E.g. Healthcare:

    • Are a number of different models, with mixtures of competition and regulation

    • Too much competition is not a good thing

  • Context determines technology use

  • Institutions, tradition and technology interact in complicated ways. Technology does not overpower them.


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