Professor worries students will share 'controversial' recorded lectures as classes move online

A professor at Andrews University is concerned for his colleagues as the college transitions to online courses.

Anthony Bosman wrote on Facebook that professors who teach more "controversial" topics could see their lectures "hit the blogosphere."

Andrews University assistant professor of mathematics Anthony Bosman shared concern for his fellow humanities faculty over their lecture content being put online as classes transition in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Institutions of higher education across the nation have decided to cancel in-person classes and instead have moved courses for the rest of the academic term online. Andrews University is one of them.

Bosman posted on his personal Facebook account, “Some faculty are concerned about sharing their lectures online because of the sensitive/controversial nature of the topics they cover. Makes me grateful that the most controversial thing I cover in my classes is if we should accept the axiom of choice.”

He explained why his colleagues were worried: “the concern is all it takes is one ze[a]lous student and that recording can hit the blogosphere...”

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Bosman concluded, “My advice to colleagues: don’t post anything online (private) that you don’t want to end up public. More thorny discussions can still take place over Zoom, where students have to request permission to record.”

Arthur Ujlaki-Nagy, a seminary student at Andrews University, told Campus Reform, “If they’re scared about what they’re teaching and worried about what other people are going to think about it, then either they shouldn’t be teaching it… or they should just share it.” He continued, “If they’re already influencing those students in their classroom, then why should they be scared that everybody else will hear about it?”

”If they believe that what they’re doing is correct, then they should stand firm,” Ujlaki-Nagy added.

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In the Facebook conversation, Bosman also replied in favor of more open posting of lecture content by the seminary on campus, saying, “many other seminaries and institutions have been eager to put such content out there.”

Samuel Condori, a freshman marketing major, told Campus Reform his thoughts on professors who want to teach one thing to students in a class, but are afraid to say in public. He remarked, “Probably they want to kind of influence our students [to] their way of thinking because they know that... they have a big influence on us, actually, [by] what they are saying. And if they don’t say [what they teach in class] openly to everybody, I think that’s kind of questionable.

”Why not say it to everybody with the way you’re thinking? That’s something you should share, right?” Condori added.

Bosman told Campus Reform, “I happily put my lectures on YouTube for anyone, around the world, to find and benefit from. Some faculty who cover curriculum with sensitive topics are more hesitant to do this, let sound bytes of their teaching taken out of context weaponize a Twitter mob against them. Makes me grateful that the most controversial topics [I] cover are issues in the foundations of mathematics that tend not to get politicized or upset online activists.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter:@Jonathan_M_Jr