Tuesday, May 21, 2013

is higher education running AMOOC?

hakesedstuff | ABSTRACT: My discussion-list post “Evaluating the Effectiveness of College” at http://yhoo.it/16cJ7HO concerned the failure of U.S. higher education to emphasize student learning rather than the delivery of instruction [Barr and Tagg (1995)] at http://bit.ly/8XGJPc. In response, a correspondent asked me “Is There Some Hope In Coursera’s Pedagogical Foundations? ”

Despite the serious cracks detected in all but one of Coursera’s five pedagogical foundation stones, I don’t think Coursera is necessarily doomed to pedagogic collapse. Instead I think there may actually be some hope IF its MOOCs are evaluated by measurement of pre-to-post-course student learning gains using Concept Inventories http://bit.ly/dARkDY. If the physics education reform effort is any guide, then (a) such assessment will demonstrate that MOOCs are actually MOORFAPs (Massive Open Online Repetitions of FAiled Pedagogy), and (b) there will be some incentive to transform MOOCs into MOOLOs (Massive Open Online Learning Opportunities).

But even if MOOCs fail to become MOOLOs there still may be some hope since, as Keith Devlin (2013) points out at http://bit.ly/14440kt, MOOCs have the potential to uncover individuals world-wide who have the talent to learn from MOORFAPs, in the same way that most current professional physicists were able to learn physics from FAPs (Failed Academic Pedagogy).

For those who may wish to dig deeper into the MOOC milieu I recommend Nathan Heller’s (2013) scholarly “LAPTOP U: Has the future of college moved online?” at http://nyr.kr/10MmItb


CNu said...

Quoth Ed Dunn in this morning's Dream and Hustle missiveNo offense, but if you are a graduating class of 2013 and do not realize
you have to be global, then you didn’t learn a damn thing and still
have to pay back that student loan. http://www.dreamandhustle.com/so-what-did-you-really-think-of-president-obama-morehouse-speech/ MOOC's are here to stay PRECISELY because of MOOCs have the potential to uncover individuals world-wide who have the
talent to learn from MOORFAPs,

umbrarchist said...

I think what matter is the quality of books and videos. If great books and videos can be made then MOOCs are irrelevant.

What do I mean by great? MEMORIZING and UNDERSTANDING are two different things. Some books try to teach physics or electronics or computers the way history is taught. There is not much logic to history, it is mostly events and names and places to be memorized. That is not how physical things in reality work, there are patterns that connect things and are dependent on each other. Many books do not explain the patterns they just present stuff to be memorized.

But a good books from 1970 that explains how a transistor works would be just as valid today. The same with any videos on any subject.

The schools have a problem because these computers and the Internet offer inexpensive means producing and distributing info. The problem is quality.

If everybody started sharing good info then who would need schools. What do the schools have besides "legitimate" credentials? But people getting the knowledge without the credentials would see how badly the schools teach.

umbrarchist said...


Automobiles did not cause it but automobiles gave human beings the option of doing it. Without the technology it could not happen. Western ideas about economic power games based on real estate were part of it also.

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