Wednesday, May 02, 2012

MOOC Roundup

It's getting hard to tell the MOOC players without a scorecard, so here's a scorecard or maybe a bingo card. I'd tag this with the label "MOOC," only the New and Improved Blogger doesn't give you any way to add them.
  • Harvard and M.I.T. are teaming up with edX, a massive course platform built on the MITx version that MIT rolled out earlier this year. (NYTimes, Inside Higher Ed. I thought there was one at The Atlantic, but I couldn't find it.) 
  • Coursera. Penn, Stanford, Michigan, and Princeton's version of the above.
  • Udemy. This is the one that Margaret Soltan is using and blogging about over at University Diaries.
  • Udacity. This one seems to be a computer science version exclusively.
  • Not online but massive and reported on in the Chronicle, so I'll include it here: a 2,670 student class at Virginia Tech that is so inspiring that all 2,670 chimed in to say how awesome it is in the comments.
Any questions?
  • Will any of these places give you course credit with MIT and Harvard names attached? Please stop asking rude questions.
  • How will these courses be graded? "The edX project will include not only engineering courses, in which computer grading is relatively simple, but also humanities courses, in which essays might be graded through crowd-sourcing, or assessed with natural-language software. Coursera will also offer free humanities courses in which grading will be done by peers."
  • What will happen to traditional universities? Mid-level ones ought to be worried, says "George Siemens, a MOOC pioneer who teaches at Athabasca University." 
  • Why? “Online education is here to stay, and it’s only going to get better,” said Lawrence S. Bacow, a past president of Tufts who is a member of the Harvard Corporation. Dr. Bacow, co-author of a new report on online learning, said it remained unclear how traditional universities would integrate the new technologies.
  • What role will faculty have? “What faculty don’t want to do is just take something off the shelf that’s somebody else’s and teach it, any more than they would take a textbook, start on Page 1, and end with the last chapter,” he said. “What’s still missing is an online platform that gives faculty the capacity to customize the content of their own highly interactive courses.” 


Forex Expert Advisor said...
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Dr. Koshary said...

Surely Dr. Bacow's subtextual commentary about online education was, "...Because it sure as s*** can't get any worse!"

I damn near laughed while drinking my coffee, btw, when I got to your line "Please stop asking rude questions."

undine said...

Dr. Koshary--your comment made ME laugh! Seriously, about the questions: there is never anything specific in these articles about how evaluation will actually be done--nothing beyond what I quoted, that is. There seem to be "quizzes" at Udemy, but you can't get information about those without signing up for a course.

We're just supposed to take it on faith that these MOOC courses will transform education, cure cancer, and eliminate the federal deficit.