There is no Plan B

It has been ten days filled with lots of highlights from our President’s Focus Breakfast where we challenged the community to take the ball, to our Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership hosting UCF alumni and Blair Witch Project co-creator Robin Cowie, to the launch of our Blackstone Launch Pad and our Titen Visiting Lecture Speaker UCF alum Dr. Glenn Hubbard. (Yes, the external relations team has been putting in a lot of hours this month.)

But perhaps my favorite moment this week occurred during our Dean’s Advisory Board meeting when a member asked what our contingency plan was for dealing with the possibility that Massively Open On-line Courses would become wildly popular and disrupt higher education. I responded that there was no plan B– that we had to win plan A by providing value through face to face education–if we couldn’t do that we were dead. I expected rebuttal from the board member. Instead I got a satisfying smile. As I looked around the room, people nodded.

Sometimes there can’t be a plan B–you have to be “all in” on plan A. Everything we have done in the past ten days or so, all those highlights I mentioned a moment ago…those are the sorts of things that will help us win with plan A.

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2 thoughts on “There is no Plan B

  1. As a UCF College of Business graduate and the parent of a legacy now enrolled in the College of Business, I am perplexed by the plan to provide face to face education compared to the reality as it currently exists at UCF today. Judging by my student’s courses since acceptance into the UCF College of Business, the college is already a massively open on-line school, not the Plan A offering of valued instruction outlined above. How can a junior in college benefit from ANY face to face instruction when NONE of the classes in their course load this semester was offered as a seated classroom experience? All four classes my student is taking were ONLY offered as virtual on-line learning of a recorded class session. 3 of 4 classes this past spring were the same situation. So this entire calendar year, my student has had interaction with one professor and an occasional meeting with a teaching assistant assigned to assist the online students. Having watched some of the on-line classes with my student to help teach the concepts that online instruction failed to accomplish, I’m also concerned about the depth of the professorial staff under your direction.

    Your Plan A curricula is a return to a teaching method when I matriculated at UCF, a change that is needed. Please advise if this new Plan A will take effect starting Spring 2014 for the balance of my student’s upper level courses in the College of Business. How two buildings with the names Business Administration I & II will be utilized for face to face instruction to provide value to College of Business students instead of general studies to underclassmen. Or does UCF already stand for On-line rather than Opportunity?

    • Hello John:

      Currently our undergradate core curriculum (11 courses) is offered both live and via the net. They are all done in a 300 seat auditorium and students are welcome to come. As far as I know, none of these courses is offered exclusively on-line. Students who want the face-to-face experience can have it and I have been working in the year that I have been here to make those courses more engaging. Once students get passed the core curriculum courses (i.e., courses in the major) all of the courses only have the face-to-face option. MOOC’s are different in that they are only on-line, do not involve any face-to-face interaction and are except in rare circumstances not for credit. (The question the board member asked had to do with looking ten years into the future…)

      We are working through a potential admission and curriculum revision, but this won’t be ready for implementation until Fall 2014 at the earliest. It won’t end the on-line option for the core courses, but it should lead to more engaging classes in upper division. Stay tuned.

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