December 3, 2013

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UAlbany Chapter panel discusses online learning

uupdate 12-3-13

UUP VPA Jamie Dangler raises issues about SUNY’s Open SUNY initiative during a UAlbany Chapter-sponsored panel discussion on online learning. Panelists at the Dec. 2 session included, from left, UUP members Chris Moore, Lee Bickmore, Peter Shea and Marty Manjak.

More than 60 Albany Chapter UUPers attended the evening seminar, which includes seamless transfer and the expansion of Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs)- which SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher claims will make SUNY the nation’s largest public online learning network once it is implemented.

UUP has concerns about Open SUNY, including access, educational quality and and the role of private, profit-seeking companies in the delivery of SUNY courses.

During the discussion, hosted by the chapter’s Technology and Teaching Committee, Dangler laid out UUP’s concerns about the way Open SUNY has been launched. She urged members to question SUNY about its implementation plans, including how the initiative will be funded, how funding will be distributed to campuses, and who will control curriculum.

“Open SUNY is a package that is being marketed and promoted,” said Dangler. “SUNY has not thought through how this plan will be implemented and how it will affect different campuses and diverse student populations.”

The Albany Chapter meeting is the latest in a series of Open SUNY discussions held at campuses statewide. Dangler, UUP President Fred Kowal and other union officers have crossed the state in recent months, visiting chapters to discuss Open SUNY, MOOCs and seamless transfer.

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