Chronicle of Higher Education Blog Highlights Key Points from MOOCs and Libraries Event
“The “MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?” event, hosted by OCLC Research and the University of Pennsylvania on 18-19 March, featured thoughtful and provocative presentations about ways libraries are getting involved with massive open online courses (MOOCs), including the challenges and strategic opportunities they are facing.
The Chronicle of Higher Education blog post, “For Libraries, MOOCs Bring Uncertainty and Opportunity,” by Jennifer Howard on 25 March 2013, summarizes the key points made during the event, including the various roles academic librarians can play in the MOOCs phenomenon and how they can best prepare for them.
OCLC Research will post the video and presenters’ slides from the MOOCs and Libraries event online in the coming days.”
and, here’s another view:
Why Do Professors Hate MOOCs? Let Me Count the Whys
“According to a March 18, 2013, article by Rob Jenkins in the Chronicle of Higher Ed, California is currently in the early stages of considering legislation that would allow, even encourage, students in its overburdened higher education system to take introductory level MOOC courses in place of residential classes that are overenrolled. Additionally, building off of a competency-based assessment program implemented at Empire State College, the SUNY system is pushing its faculty members to develop MOOCs that would allow top performers to receive SUNY credit. Finally, a recent survey of all faculty members who have taught a MOOC netted some interesting results that indicate that, despite the increasing move towards the massive format, faculty are neither optimistic about the future of the MOOC nor sold on its efficacy as an instructional medium. Here’s a look at what the faculty behind MOOCs think.
Survey Says The Chronicle survey of MOOC faculty reveals some very telling information about the opinion of those on the front lines of the movement, both about the efficacy and the potential of the classes.” (Source: Chronicle.com – March 18, 2013)
“The answers to these three questions shows a disconnect between the effect that faculty see MOOCs having on costs at their home institutions and in higher education more broadly. Some of this could be attributable to the fact that many or most of those currently teaching MOOCs are doing so for elite institutions such as Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, where there will never be a shortage of students who are willing and able to pay their tuition.
What is most interesting for non-MOOC experienced faculty, however, is the answer to the third question about MOOCs distracting from other duties. Most who have never been in the professorate do not understand that it is a FULL time position. Many professors (educators in general) work long hours planning, teaching, grading, researching, serving on committees, running extra-curricular activities, and more. Adding the added pressure of teaching thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of students for the same or even no pay cannot be a happy feeling.
In addition to these questions, the survey presented several other revealing opinions:
- 72% of the respondents do not believe that students should receive formal credit for MOOCs – this is from the people teaching the classes! It would be interesting to have qualitative responses to these questions so that we could understand why they don’t think their students deserve credit for the classes they are teaching.
- 66% do not believe that their institutions will ever grant credit for MOOC coursework. Again, these are the institutions driving this movement; yet, they do not support it in the most fundamental and meaningful way.
- 79% however, do believe that “MOOCs are worth the hype.” This assessment seems to directly contradict the responses to the two previous questions. The follow-up question of, “why?” needs to be asked.”
Reason #5: Teaching Tens of Thousands of Students is Intimidating
Reason #4: Fear of Technology
Reason #3: Fear of an Uncertain Future
Reason #2: Teaching Massive Classes Dilutes Learning
Reason #1: College Professors Believe in a Just Society
Are MOOCs the Future of Higher Education?