Invasion of the Mind Rot Zombies

Anyone who works at a university, attends a university, has children at university, and so on must go to the website of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, sign in, and download their packet of “VALUE rubrics.”  You get fifteen of them, identified on each page as a “metarubric” rather than a “rubric.”  VALUE, by the way, stands for “Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education”.

These are page after page after page of platitudes and doubletalk to be used by accreditation agencies to evaluate universities, or so it seems.  Look them over and you will either sob in despair else roll on the floor laughing at those of us subject to these kinds of people.  Recall the edubabble your children occasionally brought home from middle school: here it is dressed up in new clothes in all its glory.

This stuff makes everyone at Dilbert look like a serious rational actor.  Universities seem uniquely incapable of resising parasite infection, and this VALUE stuff is a new low.  Help us please.

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10 Responses to Invasion of the Mind Rot Zombies

  1. Ron Pavellas says:

    I went to the site and gave up. I’m obviously not intellectual enough. But what is an intellectual, really? http://pavellas.com/2009/02/11/what-is-an-intellectual-really/

  2. Difference Maker says:

    I will help by pointing out the typos in the second to last sentence.

  3. j says:

    In my opinion, it is a brilliant effort to confuse educational outcomes. Decades we have trying to find a way.

    You may suspect the rot parasite jumped from the internet page and rebuilt itself in my mind the Andromeda style. Could be.

  4. George III says:

    These are page after page after page of platitudes and doubletalk to be used by accreditation agencies to evaluate universities, or so it seems. Look them over and you will either sob in despair else roll on the floor laughing at those of us subject to these kinds of people. Recall the edubabble your children occasionally brought home from middle school: here it is dressed up in new clothes in all its glory.

    But it is v. interesting from a psycho-Darwinian point of view. Farmers can’t believe insane things about their area of expertise. If they do, they’ll starve or go bankrupt. People who live in cities can and regulary do believe insane things about their areas of expertise. Indeed, insanity is the basis of many city-dwellers’ expertise.

  5. S.D.L. says:

    . . . . if analysis using statistical methods is appropriate for the discipline then a student would be expected to use an appropriate statistical methodology for that analysis.

    And so on and so forth. Lots of words on those pages, but very little said.

  6. dearieme says:

    An ancient joke:

    Person, addressing the boss of Yale: “Why does Yale lack a Department of Education?”

    Boss of Yale: “When there is something known about education that is worth teaching, Yale will have a Department of Education.”

  7. Nanonymous says:

    Universities seem uniquely incapable or resising parasite infection

    Sorry but universities *are* parasites themselves. 90% of the entire higher education industry can be erased overnight and society as a whole would only benefit greatly.

    • Eli says:

      Sorry, but at least 50% of society (as viewed globally) are either parasites or parasites-to-be themselves. It can be erased overnight, leaving the aggregate GDP (adjusted for reduced demand, of course) of developed countries to remain unchanged, with a good portion of the remaining population still being left free to engage in whatever VALUE they wish to either learn or advance or create.

  8. TWS says:

    Thank God my kids had a solid base and never bought into that crap. Our schools don’t teach that kind of junk in grade school.

  9. I agree that this is a problem! But I don’t think building this into Ubiquity is the solution! In my eyes this feels like bloating it with functionality that has nothing to do with what Ubiquity is all about. Kinda like making a calculator, that’s also a bicycle. What’s the point?
    Thanks harpend!

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