A wonk’s take on the MOOC crash

There’s a vibrant discussion in the blogosphere about the lessons learned from the MOOC crash that I’ve been writing about. Slate’s Will Oremus wrote about how the debacle may be heralding an anti-MOOC backlash. (Thanks for the hat tip Will). Will also cites a wonky blog by Debbie Morrison, who is an instructional designer, and was enrolled in the course as well. (I suppose that makes us classmates). I don’t know enough about online education to agree or disagree with her points. (Undoubtedly, online courses should provide clear orientations for the technical tools that students will be using, e.g. “How this course works.”). But she makes the more provocative point that good online courses cannot simply convert a traditional face-to-face course into a virtual class. Instead, Morrison argues, professors must let go and allow the students to take over and direct their own learning. Should professors dump decades of lecture notes into the incinerator? Why not keep the instructor-centric model and convert the best old-fashioned lectures into videos?¬†Interesting food for thought for anyone who wants to create online curriculum.


POSTED BY Jill Barshay ON February 7, 2013

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