Tag Archives: MOOCs

Invasion of the MOOCs: The promise and perils of massive open online courses

About a year ago, Steven Krause (of Eastern Michigan University) and Charles Lowe (of Grand Valley State University) came up with the idea of a collaborative anthology of essays on MOOCs, twinning an experiment in scholarship with exploration of an experiment in education. The anthology appeared last week, showing the success of the approach to […] … learn more→

Speaking up for the creditless MOOC

Last year I agreed to teach a public-speaking MOOC on the Coursera platform. I wasn’t a MOOC advocate, but I believe that the study of speech and rhetoric benefits individuals and society as a whole. I routinely offer speech workshops for civic and professional groups around Washington State. A MOOC on public speaking would allow […] … learn more→

To measure a MOOC\’s value, just ask students

What\’s the value of my university\’s name on the \”statement of accomplishment\” that students just earned for passing my first massive open online course? Is it at all enhanced by the robo-signature of their new favorite MOOC professor? Or, as Samuel Goldwyn probably didn\’t say about verbal contracts, is it just not worth the paper […] … learn more→

MOOCs as Neocolonialism: Who controls knowledge?

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are the latest effort to harness information technology for higher education. While they are still in a nascent stage of development, many in academe are enthusiastic about their potential to be an inexpensive way of delivering an education to vast audiences. Yet one aspect of the MOOC movement has […] … learn more→

MOOCs and economic reality

In “We’re All to Blame for MOOCs,” Patrick J. Deneen proposes a transformation away from global universities and toward identity-driven colleges as a defense against the coming shakeup from novel forms of online education. While developing this theme, he quotes me on the rise of MOOCs, and imagines this makes me an opponent of his […] … learn more→

The impact of MOOCs on smaller universities: A blessing or a MOOClear disaster?

Several pundits and think tanks, including the credit rating agency Moody\’s and Pearson, argue that MOOCs pose a threat to smaller higher education institutions, as the online revolution favours elite institutions over the rest. Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun claims – perhaps hopefully in his case? – that by 2060 there will be 10 universities left […] … learn more→

Ma, There\’s a MOOC under my bed

The irony about MOOCs is that hardly anyone opposes them except many of the academics qualified to teach them. Recently academics, including groups of faculty at Amherst College, Duke University, and San Jose State University, have been publicly skeptical of, and even hostile to new forms of teaching online courses. Amherst faculty voted down a […] … learn more→

The MOOC synthesizer

Two recent interventions in the ongoing conversation about massive open online courses (MOOCs) strike me as provocative, in very different ways – and also as curiously neglected, given the interest of what the authors have to say. Perhaps it is a sign of fatigue with the subject? Maybe, but the two articles in question, published […] … learn more→

MOOCs as a lightning rod

MOOCs in their strict, literal sense have relatively limited potential primarily as branding for institutions and individual professors. Secondarily, they may supplement course material for students in accredited institutions or life-long learning exercises not unlike the offerings of the Teaching Company (except that thus far, they are for free, and include assignments, not just passive […] … learn more→