Professors and teachers: The best way to increase the quality and engagement of students is to separate your instruction from accredited institutions.
Don’t complain about low quality students; they’re not there for you and mostly don’t care about your ideas. They’re there for a piece of paper they think is a magic ticket to acceptance in the world and they suffer through your class as a cost.
You’re too good to deal with students like that who don’t value your work!
Step out from behind the subsidized, cartelized, credentialized system and offer your instruction to excited customers in the market!
Ask Thaddeus Russell how much better Renegade U customers are than students in college courses for credit. Ask Austin Batchelor how amazing his tens of thousands of aspiring artist pupils on Udemy are. Ask anyone who’s talked at a conference or seminar that didn’t offer credit but was filled with people who actually wanted to hear your ideas!
Don’t be afraid. There is a massive market for knowledge and good instruction.
If you’re good, you’re likely to make more money, because you’ll reap directly what customers value and won’t be subsidizing low quality colleagues or administrators. The upside is limitless.
Of course if you’re not good at conveying ideas, you’d better get good or you won’t make as much. This is a healthy discipline!
And no, you won’t lose “academic freedom”, you’ll have more.
The world is so full of opportunity for hard-working intellectuals to make more money, interact with far better minds, and have more fun if they can muster the imagination and courage to stop chaining their work to the musty halls of accredited paper mills.