Tag Archives: moocs

bookmarks for August 14th, 2013 through August 15th, 2013

bookmarks for June 13th, 2013 through June 20th, 2013

bookmarks for May 11th, 2013 through May 18th, 2013

bookmarks for May 5th, 2013 through May 8th, 2013

the xmooc backlash – take back the curriculum

I really shouldn’t enjoy the xMOOC backlash so much, but I do. Perhaps it’s because academics are beginning to unite. Here, it’s an issue of complicity: 

The San Jose State professors also called out Michael Sandel, the Harvard government professor who developed the course for edX, suggesting that professors who develop MOOCs are complicit in how public universities might use them. Why Professors at San Jose State Won’t Use a Harvard Professor’s MOOC

And at Amherst, it’s moderation and sobriety in the face of edX.

But Amherst’s rejection of edX, decided by a faculty vote, could mark a new chapter for MOOCs—one in which colleges revert to their default modes of deliberations and caution. “I think we’re at the early stages of that honeymoon period coming to an end,” says Richard Garrett, vice president and principal analyst of the consulting company Eduventures. Why Some Colleges Are Saying No to MOOCs, at Least for Now

Here at BSU, we haven’t seen xMOOCs appear yet, but we have a similar naked emperor in the 80/20 scheme in the Master Academic Plan. (It’s Appendix F of this PDF) The idea is this: Faculty develop an online program, then turn the teaching over to adjuncts and fixed termers to make the program sustainable by tuition alone. Sustainable is the new buzzword for on-the-cheap and killable. That is, the university commits to the program only as long as we can make money by it. If we can’t, the program is gone, and students are out in the cold.

That is, 80/20 doesn’t just work against faculty (not to mention the IFO contract) but against students. Within a year, a program that a student graduated from could easily disappear. Program gone. Faculty gone. Support gone. History. Hi ho.

The 80/20 works against some of the MAP’s other ends, such as 


C’mon: Excellent faculty will run for this hills at the sight of such a program. Or this


80/20 is designed to bring in students from distant markets, not area markets. We shouldn’t expect students on an 80/20 program to be engaged or provide serve to our local area. 

What the xMOOC backlash suggests is that excellent faculty won’t get on the bandwagon when the plan is dodgy, and here’s hoping students won’t either.

bookmarks for March 4th, 2013 through March 7th, 2013

bookmarks for February 11th, 2013

  • How to Save College | The Awl – Shirky weighs in: “MOOCs matter. Not because distance learning is some big new thing or because online lectures are a solution to all our problems, but because they’ve come along at a time when students and parents are willing to ask themselves, “Isn’t there some other way to do this?” MOOCs are a lightning strike on a rotten tree. Most stories have focused on the lightning, on MOOCs as the flashy new thing. I want to talk about the tree.” – (moocs de )
  • Something Wiki This Way Comes – Rob Withers. Library science perspective – (wiki )

bookmarks for February 9th, 2013

  • Learning outcomes are corrosive – Our dirty little secret: we use learning outcomes as boilerplate. But they are not benign.

    "Yet learning outcomes are not just another banal instrument deployed to monitor and quantify the achievements of students. The very purpose of this organisational instrument is to accomplish a shift in emphasis from learning to outcomes. This is a technique through which a utilitarian ethos to academic life serves to diminish what would otherwise be an open-ended experience for student and teacher alike. Those who advocate learning outcomes do so expressly with the aim of abolishing such experiences, which is why they so vociferously target anything that smacks of ambiguity."

    Take that LibEd. Take that MnSCU. I shall make a link to this post part of my learning outcomes. – (learningoutcomes assessment )

  • The MOOCs that ate themselves – As MOOCs go mainstream, they … go mainstream. Pedagogy, assessment, quality. It's Starbuck's all the way down. – (MOOC infographic )
  • Issues in developing and implementing e-Portfolios – Info graphic and summary of a longer report. Tension between purposes, where assessment trashes making. "Many organisations are looking to some form of e-Portfolio to meet this need. Yet there is a tension between the use of e-portfolios to record and reflect on learning, as a tools for learning itself and as a means to assessment." – (portfolios eportfolios assessment )