Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MOOC's: Not the Future of Education. Not Even Education.

On Campus: New MOOCs at UW-Madison. (Wisconsin State Journal, 7/2/2014).

Welcome to the latest educational fadThe school’s four courses last school year reached more than 135,600 people in about 141 countries and all 50 states, according to the university. It will continue to partner with the online learning company Coursera.

The numbers -- 4 and 135 -- are massively absurd to anyone who has taught an online course and values interaction with and among students.

Source: Not Staying the Course. (Inside Higher Ed, 5/10/2013)


Gerard said...

I've thought of these as auditing a lecture class. 2-3 of the classes listed in yesterday's article sounded neat to me. Especially if a podcast were available.

Kind of like the recorded lectures by Teaching Company. For adult learners not looking for college credit.

Catherine Arnott Smith said...

As you know, Paul, I've done a lot of online teaching at the UW-Madison and elsewhere, and I also took 2 MOOCs a couple of years ago to see where the points of comparison were. One MOOC was fatally flawed in design, and the other (via Coursera) had great content and I was glad I took it. However, I wouldn't confuse either of them with the kind of online teaching I have done for years, and the main reason is the complete lack of instructor feedback. That didn't make it a worthless experience; I would agree with Gerard that a good MOOC is like a Teaching Company DVD or tape (I've done those, too). I just would never confuse the Teaching Company with an actual *class* in which student work is evaluated, commented upon, talked about. My main worry about MOOCs is that both proponents and opponents will confuse MOOCs with online education!