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Yesterday I shared this TED talk with our CTO:

Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education (one of founders of Coursera).

And, today one of my colleagues sent me a link to  Why MOOCs won’t replace traditional instruction an essay called Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Disruption by Jonathan Marks from Inside Higher Ed

This got me thinking about MOOCs again.  The Koller video is in favor of MOOCs, of course, and she is certainly persuasive.  I have not taken a Coursera course, but I was impressed about how they were organized. Marks has taken a Coursera course, about which he had many positive things to say.

He is not worried that his job as a faculty member, will disappear because of MOOCs.  He points out that college needs to be a transformative experience for the students at his institution. These students need guidance. This is the same for many of our institutions, mine included. Coursera and other MOOCs do not offer this guidance.     Guidance is not scalable, at least not easily, and guidance is what many of our institutions can and do offer.

In his essay Marks points out:

Guide yourselves” could be Coursera’s motto, and there is nothing wrong with that.

while Coursera’s mission of open access is democratic, its education is elitist, designed for those who already possess the judgment, independence, and discipline to teach themselves well.

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