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[liberationtech] MOOC'd

Raven Jiang CX jcx at stanford.edu
Thu Jun 20 01:17:18 PDT 2013


My thoughts on this
http://soraven.com/2013/06/20/the-real-problem-with-moocs/

In short, I think that while it may be premature to go all-out on MOOCs,
many of the problems raised in terms of education quality are solvable
given time and are not good reasons for why we should not move in that
direction.

My own concern lies with the fact that the a great deal of academia and
knowledge creation is currently being funded by the inefficient tuition
system. If the transition to MOOC is too sudden, then we might irreversibly
damage our knowledge engines when all that money disappears from the system.

And as a side note, even if it were true that it will never be possible to
effectively teach philosophy through an online course (which I think is too
short sighted given future developments in HCI technology), the same is
most definitely not true for many STEM subjects whose lecture formats and
problem sets already resemble a MOOC classroom. Now imagine a future where
one can go online to take a whole bunch of rigorous and effective STEM
classes for free, or pay tens of thousands of dollars for a traditional
education to learn English literature the "right way"... That might just
spell the true death of the arts.

In a counter-intuitive way, I think it might even be in the philosophy
professor's interest for Silicon Valley to figure out an effective way to
teach philosophy online.




On 17 June 2013 16:45, David Johnson <david at bostonreview.net> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> We just ran a package of stories on MOOCs that may be of interest to list
> members.
>
> First, we have Stanford's Rob Reich correcting some of the excessive
> claims of proponents and critics ...
>
> http://bostonreview.net/us/much-ado-about-moocs
>
> Second, we have former Princeton President William Bowen with a critical
> assessment of their potential for education ...
>
> http://bostonreview.net/us/potential-online-learning
>
> Then we have Thomas Leddy, philosopher at San Jose State, explaining his
> negative stance towards his university's embrace of MOOCs ...
>
> http://bostonreview.net/us/are-moocs-good-students
>
> And finally we have a piece by yours truly examining the close ties
> between the president of San Jose State and Cisco and his cheerleading for
> MOOCs ...
>
> http://bostonreview.net/blog/tech-university-complex
>
> Best wishes,
>
> David
> --
>
> David V. Johnson
> Web Editor
> Boston Review
> Website: http://www.bostonreview.net
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/BostonReview
>
> Tumblr: http://bostonreview.tumblr.com
> Cell: (917)903-3706
>
>
> --
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