Today’s students have grown up with vastly different expectations than their Generation-X parents for their college education. Most Gen Y-ers assume that they will be able to learn on their own time, on their own portable tech, wherever they happen to stand in line. Millennials’ clashes with “old school” school are well documented. To accommodate the evolution in higher education, many colleges and universities, including the top ivies, have developed massive open online courses (MOOCs) not to be confused with ornery coots or Fox television’s new reality show COOCs.
MOOCs have met with mixed academic reviews, but much financial success. Many tech-savvy faculty members have joined online universities and MOOCs in order to enjoy some of the perks of the job. One of the most frequently heard in department meetings is the opportunity to “teach in one’s pajamas.”
“I love being able to roll out of bed, make a few mouse clicks, and voila, I’m at work!” exclaimed Janice Face, a tenured professor at Buchanan University. “I can assign homework while finishing housework. It’s a faculty dream!”
Unfortunately, smaller schools struggle to compete without the tech savvy and worldwide draws of their own faculty. Safeway College, for example, has seen their enrollment drop 40 percent in the past two years. The administration fears losing key faculty members.
“Those online schools make mockery of our traditions,” grumbled Dean Olga Millock from Safeway.
To compete, some schools have now resorted to a “jammy clause” in their faculty contracts. After five years of teaching, any teacher is now allowed to come to work wearing their pajamas. The hope is for traditional colleges to match the most popular online teaching perk that might otherwise entice on-ground professors.
So far, ten faculty have rushed to sign. Recent educator Twitter accounts have sprung up, with @jammyjammin, @nightieknight, and @negligeeography leading the pack.
Students, on the other hand, seem slower to take notice.
“Makes sense,” said one student. “My professors are so boring I sleep in class most days anyway.”