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Chronicle of Higher Education Blog Highlights Key Points from MOOCs and Libraries Event

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: – 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?



Posted on: March 30, 2013, 6:51 am Category: Uncategorized

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