Succinct thoughts on this summer of the MOOC
“Some educators say these cyber courses can’t replace the academic community and learning experience of a traditional campus education.”
Well, they’re not supposed to.
“If students can get high-quality academic material for free, colleges and universities will be pressed to demonstrate the education value they offer beyond lectures and exams.”
Excellent form of pressure; on-campus face-to-face education should eliminate the lecture entirely. I’ve been publicly calling for the end of the (live; face-to-face; on campus) lecture since 1995, but I think these MOOCs might just force the job to be done.
“Once up and running, most courses can almost run by themselves.”
I seriously doubt this. The discussion forums are crucial and the instructor must be involved. Teaching a MOOC well is hard work and requires just as much engagement — possibly more — than traditional classroom teaching.