The concept of “anywhere” and “anytime” learning sits well within the framework of higher education, as the introduction of the Internet and the desire to openly share information meets the need for more non-traditional learning environments nicely. Yet in order to ensure the success of this venture, higher education is progressing through a social and political transformation unlike any in known history. The importance of intellectual property and who owns knowledge has become a primary area of concern within academia. Further, the ability to offer virtual learning environments, such as online learning within course learning management systems, within virtual worlds, and even the ability to constantly access anyone through the immediacy of web conferencing and text-based entity mobile applications, makes reframing the professoriate expectations a authentic need. Meaning, a university professor’s contractual agreement consists of a triumvirate: teaching; research; and, service. At what point does the teaching responsibilities overtake the responsibilities associated with research and publication, and service expectations? Further, how might higher education reframe the contractual obligations and expectations to appropriately reflect the time and effort expectations associated with virtual learning opportunities that necessitate the constant and consistent focus upon the learners? These conceptual quandaries have become realities and must be addressed so as to impede the eventual mass exodus of exceptional members of the professoriate.
|Keywords:||Higher Education, Professoriate, Virtual Learning, Online Learning, Learning, Intellectual Property, Academia, Virtual Learning Environments, Immediacy, Teaching, Responsibility, Teaching, Research, Service|
Associate Professor, Instructional Technology, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA
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