Starting August 29, MIT will be offering “Introduction to Philosophy: God, Knowledge and Consciousness,” through its edX portal with a new twist. Students who pay $300 for the “verified certificate” program will have their work reviewed by “professional philosophers.” Without a “verified certificate,” the course is free.
“Listening to lectures and reading books is great, but philosophy is all about taking complex ideas and organizing them in a simple way. You learn by writing, specifically writing to someone,” said Caspar Hare, an MIT philosophy teacher who will lead the MOOC for its third iteration.
SUNY Empire State College and Buffalo State College are using a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant to fund the creation of a new Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) that “will help participants gain a better understanding of accessibility as a civil rights issue and develop the knowledge and skills needed to design learning experiences that promote inclusive learning environments for all students, including those with disabilities.”
Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners is a free 6-week (2/22-4/4) professional development course available that will help you gain a better understanding of accessibility as a civil rights issue and develop the knowledge and skills you need to design learning experiences that promote inclusive learning environments. Continue reading “Accessibility MOOC on Canvas Network – #AccessMOOC”
Straumsheim has an interesting piece over at Inside Higher Ed about what to call MOOCs. He quotes Harvard Faculty Director Robert A. Lue on the conversations they have had on campus about this change in online. He points out that the traditional 90-minute lecture has not translated well to the online environment. He says that faculty were encouraged to follow the Khan Academy model of breaking things up into modules that cover no more than one concept. He added, “When those modules are freed from the time constraints of a semester or quarter, the end result bears only some resemblance to a course.”
“It really does reflect in my view a real sea change in how we’re thinking about education,” Lue said. “The word [course] is still meaningful, but I feel strongly that as a defining term, it is increasingly less defining of all the different options that we want to have.”
Lue compared the breakdown of courses into modules to textbooks and chapters. “It’s very hard to use a course in another course, while once you modularize into these more discrete learning experiences, it’s so much easier to share,” he said.
The rest of the article contains some interesting in sights into the changes going on in technology, MOOC partnerships, and the rethinking of content and its delivery.
Some faculty wanted to expand Amherst’s repertoire and experiment online. Even professors who opposed a deal with edX say the college should look at doing more online. But the majority of faculty came to doubt edX on a number of fronts.
. . .
Some Amherst faculty concerns about edX were specific to Amherst. For instance, faculty asked, are MOOCs, which enroll tens of thousands of students, compatible with Amherst’s mission to provide education in a “purposefully small residential community” and “through close colloquy?”
They also expressed broader concerns about the direction in which edX and others like it are taking higher education.
Inside Higher ED has a post by Steve Kolwich about the opening keynote at Educause. In his keynote, New York University’s Clay Shirky addressed the openness (or lack thereof) of MOOCs, which he considers the more provocative aspect of MOOCs than their size. The whole piece is focuses on the relationship between MOOCs, Open Educational Resources (OER), and the terms of service of some of the new commercial providers of MOOCs ( e.g., Udacity, edX, Coursera). The full article provides an interesting look at the whole issue.
Daphne Koller is enticing top universities to put their most intriguing courses online for free — not just as a service, but as a way to research how people learn. With Coursera (cofounded by Andrew Ng), each keystroke, quiz, peer-to-peer discussion and self-graded assignment builds an unprecedented pool of data on how knowledge is processed.