MOOCs

MOOCs: The Little Engine That Couldn’t

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Train wreck at Montparnasse 1895

Just 11 months ago, I chose the visual metaphor to the right to be juxtaposed against the title for a post: “All aboard the MOOC train!” – wherein I expressed some reservations about the MOOC euphoria that was then gripping the nation, having just ended the so-called “Year of the MOOC” in 2012. Well, it… Read more »

A Catholic Case Against MOOCs: A Mennonite affirmation

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This morning our provost sent a few folks a story at The Chronicle, “A Catholic Case Against MOOCs,” and asked if we Mennonites had anything to learn from such an argument. Since it dealt with the high-tech MOOC phenomenon, it made its way to me, the “ed-tech guy.” But I’m also the product of a Mennonite… Read more »

Bravo to Amherst faculty!

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In what is probably the first public “rejection letter” handed to the heretofore uncriticized MOOC phenomenon, Amherst College has said “No thanks” to joining the non-profit platform, edX. The piece at Inside Higher Ed offers some of the reasons why faculty voted down the prospect after months of negotiations with edX. They’re worth listing out… Read more »

Problematizing the MOOC

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(Image by gbl55, remix of ‘la vaca de los sinvaca‘ by José Bogado/Flickr)

The experience of participating in the Intro to Philosophy MOOC over the past two weeks has my ed-tech brain buzzing with questions and possibilities. I’ll briefly say that my suspicions over lack of a sense of cohort were confirmed when surveying the message boards for the course, where tens of thousands of people are posting… Read more »

All aboard the MOOC train!

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Train wreck at Montparnasse 1895

Many like Nathan Harden are saying that the MOOC signals “The End of the University as We Know It.” Free online higher education, Harden argues, is part of the shifting sands for established higher ed institutions in the U.S. If you put much stock in 20-30 year predictions (I don’t), schools like EMU run the… Read more »

Human connection and ed-tech in Mennonite higher ed

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In the January 7th issue of the Mennonite World Review, president emeritus of Fresno Pacific University, D. Merrill Ewert, laid out a few of the 21st century challenges facing Mennonite higher education. They include: A broken financial model (including reduced congregational support of colleges) Rise of the for-profits (University of Phoenix, et al.) New faculty majority… Read more »

The frailty of community in MOOCs

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facebook-no-face

Now that the PR hysteria around MOOCs has died down and there are actual courses running, I’m trying to track the experience of MOOC students, some of whom are blogging about their experiences. Here’s a helpful piece from Audrey Watters that talks about the peer feedback system in Coursera, one of the big two MOOC… Read more »