Interesting observations by University of Rochester professor John Corvach about his experience of preparing and presenting his History of Rock MOOC which I am currently enrolled on via Coursera.
He sees these online courses as complementing rather than competing with the frontal lessons he gives to non-virtual classes.
He writes: “My experience has caused me to stop thinking of the MOOC as an alternative to the traditional college course. It is rather something like a very organized series of public lectures based on the structure of a college course.
MOOCs are most valuable as a way of bringing the wealth of knowledge we produce and preserve in the academy to the broadest possible public—something, it must be admitted, we probably do not do enough. I use my MOOC video lectures in my regular course at Rochester now; I assign these lectures to students and this frees up class time”.
I think this is a healthily pragmatic and non-elitist attitude to MOOCS. Those institutions who are suspicious of the trend for more computer based courses will find themselves left behind if they do not embrace the possibilities offered by new resources.
As Covach says at the end of his essay: “love it or hate it, this technology is coming. We are probably wise to own it before it owns us”. There is no ‘probably’ about it!
- Why I’m Skeptical About MOOCs (blogs.wsj.com)
- Will MOOCs kill university degrees? (economist.com)
- EDUCAUSE: Five Myths about MOOCs, MOOCs for Blended Learning, and More (infodocket.com)
- MOOCs – bite size free education (blogs.abc.net.au)