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. There’s no cost or credit for the “students” yet, but could this point the way to the “schools” of the future? I would guess that in forty-two years of on-campus teaching at the University of Michigan I have worked with between 12,000 and 20,000 students. Right now, under the auspices of U-M and Coursera, I am offering “Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World” to about 39,000 participants. These people also educate me. Not only do the participants teach each other, they teach me.
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