Some online courses are replacing faculty with dead teachers

I’d love to take courses from one or two former and buried professors.




So, if your professor dies before the semester begins, do you get the automatic “A” anyway?


This case has been badly misrepresented. There is a living professor and TAs. The videos are a part of the materials provided for the class, like a textbook. Professors link to helpful videos all the time. It’s good for students. Imagine the horrors of being assigned to watch the Feynman lectures (“But he’s dead!”). This student is the type to never read a syllabus and never notice that they are getting class correspondence from their real professor and jumping to the assumption that the person in the video is their professor.
A Cranky Professor


So the boomers won’t even give up their tenured positions now, even when they’re dead. Great. /s

But as @gracchus notes, it’s a reboing…

So, most of them, then!

Bitterly yours,
A Crankier part-timer!


To be honest we all must have had a few of thoese teachers that could be replaced with an automated overhead projector feeder(*) and a speech compute reading them out.

(*Yes, I am old. Now run along, junior)

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Just imagine my horror last year when, in the course of learning about learning theory, I discovered the man in the videos about behavioral theory was dead!!! /s


Masks we got in our department last fall:

Edit: We had them made by a woman we found on Etsy. But it looks like Amazon sells them now:


Nick Offerman Giggles GIF


Thank you, cranky professor for pointing this out. As the very much alive instructor for the course in question, you fully understand the issue here.

Signed, another cranky professor


Not only that, but @Krazy, the actual instructor of that course (or at least someone claiming to be) commented in that story, and in these comments as well.


Dammit, Thom! Why are you dragging up this nonsense again?!?

I’m the instructor of the course in question. I spent a couple of very stressful weeks getting a crash course in how media distorts stories and takes what they want to tell a tale unconnected to the facts. Feel free to see my comments on the last time this was posted here on BB:

[In my Professor voice] I strongly recommend you read this Canadian Press article that does a decent and non-sensationalist job:

A local Montreal paper also wrote a very good article (in French):

[In a different professor voice] Thank you for taking additional care on this.


Yes, it’s actually me, the actual instructor. It’s not that hard to track me or my real name down and verify what I’m saying…


The least the university could do is add some titles to the beginning of each lecture to let students know that the lecturer is deceased, maybe add a short memoriam or links to the family’s preferred charities.


Or maybe students could to the bare minimum of reading the syllabus! :woman_shrugging: Unfair to get them to do that, I know…


Me too.
Me too.

I wish I could take a class with Bill Placher or Hal Peebles again.

In the near term dystopian future, the masses will be taught by crappy online course software and automation. Only the rich will be taught by humans. It’s a bleak future for the massive overabundance of PhD students.

I got out of education at just the right time.

It’s a bleak present for the overabundance of phds…


Yeah, it’s crazy hearing what that world is like. I recently reconnected with an old college friend. He went straight through from undergrad to get his PhD and work at a University (while I kind of happily flailed around before landing where I am now). He recently left the university to drive trucks, and is psyched to be making almost twice what he was as a professor.
I know there’s more to fulfillment than the paycheck, but it seems insane that he can make more driving a truck than sharing his wealth of knowledge.


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