Fewer faculty will be needed as the shift to online learning occurs.
The number of young people and adults who will need to be educated for the information economy will continue to increase. Even using the best methods and technologies there is a limit to how many students a faculty member can effectively communicate with in any course. So it is unlikely that the number of faculty members required will decline.
However, online teaching may mean that it is easier for faculty members to teach when and where they please. The number of adjunct faculty participating in online education may increase as institutions hire instructors to teach extra sections. There will be a demand for skilled and trained facilitators who understand how online learning differs from face-to-face. Since faculty will be able to teach from anywhere in the US, skilled faculty may be able to sell their services to institutions that provide the best working conditions.
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