|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The discussion of MOOC mania is in a "faith" realm, not an empirical reasoning realm. He discussed the attempted firing of the president of his college, University of Virginia. Their was talk of MOOCs being one of the issues. They are now working with Coursera to offer courses. There was an email that discussed faculty teaching in MOOCs. There is a lot of panic, therefore, around MOOCs.
He is excited about MOOCs because:
- They are pushing interesting ideas and work to "all corners of the world"
- Could inspire people to pursue knowledge
- We can learn a lot about learning
- We could do great marketing for UVA (inspire people to enroll)
He has serious concerns about MOOCs:
- Revenue/Cost savings trump education/academic values
- Commercialization of the missions
- Reduction of the missions of higher education into a transaction
- Student ("user") privacy concerns
- Taking the worst aspects of college learning as the favored methods of college learning
- Assuming teaching and learning resemble the "hypodermic needle" model
- Market fundamentalism
|Homer statue at UV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
He is complaining about the lack of public funding for education. I think that the cost should be lowered!
The work that instructors do cannot be reduced to a commercial transaction. I agree with him about concerns about thinking about colleges as a "business model." MOOCs, OERs, and open textbooks are, among other things, a response to the financial issues around education. He spent a lot of time discussing, at the end, the wonders of a brick & mortar education. I think that there are ways to develop high quality education through MOOCs, OER, and open textbooks.