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MOOCs are Marketing

Earlier this week, Georgia Tech and eleven other higher education institutions announced their participation in Coursera, a company that hosts online courses. Reactions have been predictably dramatic, as exemplified by Jordan Weissman's panegyric in the Atlantic, titled The Single Most Important Experiment in Higher Education. I'll spare observations on the obvious problems with Weissman's article, like the witless claim that lectures as web video somehow "reinvent" the lecture. Or the fact that Weissman published an article two weeks ago titled Why the Internet Isn't Going to End College As We Know It. Take this excerpt instead: The fundamental challenge for U.S. universities as they struggle to contain their costs is figuring out how to teach more students using fewer resources. This is the biggest and most insidious misconception, the one that pervades every conversation about online education. Here's one: Coursera is marketing.

http://www.bogost.com/blog/moocs_are_marketing.shtml

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» Napster, Udacity, and the Academy Clay Shirky Fifteen years ago, a research group called The Fraunhofer Institute announced a new digital format for compressing movie files. This wasn’t a terribly momentous invention, but it did have one interesting side effect: Fraunhofer also had to figure out how to compress the soundtrack. The result was the Motion Picture Experts Group Format 1, Audio Layer III, a format you know and love, though only by its acronym, MP3. The recording industry concluded this new audio format would be no threat, because quality mattered most. Jump Off the Coursera Bandwagon - Commentary By Doug Guthrie Like lemmings, too many American colleges are mindlessly rushing out to find a way to deliver online education, and more and more often they are choosing Coursera. The company, founded this year by two Stanford University computer scientists, has already enrolled more than two million students, has engaged 33 academic institutions as partners, and is offering more than 200 free massive open online courses, or MOOC's. A college's decision to jump on the Coursera bandwagon is aided—and eased—by knowing that academic heavyweights like Harvard, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are already on board. As one college president described it to The New York Times, "You're known by your partners, and this is the College of Cardinals."

Essay on three key facts on distance education @insidehighered I know! I know! Everyone is sick to death of debating the pros and cons of MOOCs, the massive online courses that, depending on your viewpoint, will be the downfall or resurrection of higher education. But what's getting lost in all the noise is that MOOCs are far from the only game in town when it comes to online education.

Open Online Courses: Higher Education of the Future? - Techonomy By Eric Rabkin One instructor’s firsthand look behind the scenes of the movement offering online education to the masses. I am “teaching” a MOOC, one of those massive, open, online courses through which Coursera and, more recently, edX offer people around the globe challenging learning experiences through a simple internet connection: video mini-lectures, machine-graded problem sets in some courses, peer-evaluated essays in others, discussion boards, and more. The Case of a Spanish MOOC By Fernando Rubio, Co-Director, Second Language Teaching and Research Center, Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics, University of Utah. After teaching for more than 20 years, I have decided that I really do not care much about teaching. The only thing that I care about is learning. And that is the reason why in the spring of 2013, I embarked in my first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) experience teaching what, to my knowledge, was the first language MOOC ever offered. I saw the opportunity to teach this course as an ideal way to get valuable insight into students’ learning. The prospect of having access to learner analytics for a very large and diverse group of students exposed to the same learning conditions was too good to pass up.

How to Succeed in a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) by Apostolos Koutropoulos & Rebecca J. Hogue “MOOCs provide a new methodology and modality for teaching and learning. This newness does pose some problems for learners, but also provides for exciting new possibilities. MOOCs require learners to be more proactive in their education and in building their personal learning networks (PLNs). Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st Century Online Learning "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." -- About Google Google is the most powerful nonhuman teacher ever known to actual humans. Implicitly and ceaselessly, Google performs formative assessments by collecting the following data: the content, genre and media that interests you most; when and for how long you access your external cloud brain; what your hobbies and routines are; with whom you work and communicate; who will get your November vote; and whether you prefer invigorating clean mint or enamel renewal toothpaste. By continuously refining the nuance of your sociogram, Google has already customized your next web exploration and taught itself to teach. You Are Now Entering the Learning Management System

Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: MOOCs Part 5 of my Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012 series The Year of the MOOC Massive Open Online Courses. Teaching in the New (Abundant) Economy of Information Part 1 in the series Learning In the New Economy of Information By Shawn McCusker In the past 10 years, perhaps nothing has changed more than the relationship between teachers and the information being distributed in their classrooms.

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