But some universities will try Coursera to see how well they can use its software to offer traditional for-credit online classes to dozens of registered students at once. If universities like the platform, long-time industry players like Desire2Learn and Blackboard could find themselves with new competition.If a little competition will improve Blackboard, I'm all for it. I think, though, that what they're talking about is selling content modules of the sort that a lot of textbook providers already have available for Blackboard.
Koller said she now wants people to start thinking of Coursera content as
|Figure 1. Daphne Koller tries a different approach|
to explain MOOCs to wary faculty members.
But the dream of a professor-less class, or an unprofessor class where knowledge of the person in the room doesn't count, hasn't died yet:
SUNY's associate provost, Carey Hatch, said the system also plans to offer incentives to campuses to develop and consume online courses that meet general education requirements. Some courses could be “guided MOOCs” where a SUNY instructor helps SUNY students work their way through a course that was created by another institution.See that "develop and consume"? How much will state universities be allowed to develop, and how much will they have to pay to "consume" content that they probably already have in their "online classes that meet" gen ed requirements?
“We hope to reach more students with the existing faculty that we have,” Hatch said."Reach more students with the existing faculty that we have"--I'm confused again. Does mean that state schools' "existing faculty" will get to grade and tutor more students than ever before but still will not be allowed to run their own courses?
To partner with so many institutions, however, Coursera will sidestep a contractual obligation to primarily offer courses from members of the Association of American Universities or “top five” universities in countries outside of North America. It will do so by creating a new section of its website to house material from the less-than-elite state universities. This different section will offer MOOCs but will be branded in a different way.
|Figure 2. Don Draper didn't get the account, |
but the Coca-Cola of ketchups is
still iconic as a brand.
You'll be shocked to learn, in a follow-up article at IHE, that SUNY faculty weren't told about this brave new plan for their futures until after the administrators had made it a done deal.