MOOCs and Education

There are two stories in the New York Times today about MOOCs (massive open online courses). Yes, two!

The stories deal with the ways schools are taking advantage of these open courses and finding ways to incorporate them into their college or university curriculum as for-credit courses. Of course, that also means they’re finding ways to monetize the courses, but still. It’s interesting because a while back, the talking heads were screaming that students shouldn’t be receiving credit for these courses.

This first one is how San Jose State is using them as remedial coursework to catch students up to where they need to be when they enter college.

The second one talks about community colleges who have taken M.I.T.’s computer classes and turned them into personalized courses that can be adapted to fit the pace of individual classes, or even students.

Here’s links: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/education/colleges-adapt-online-courses-to-ease-burden.html?pagewanted=1&smid=pl-share

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/education/adapting-to-blended-courses-and-finding-early-benefits.html?ref=education

I wish K-12 administrators would take the hint and get on this train, too. After all, as the first article states, about half of U.S. undergrads are not college-ready after graduating from high school and need those remedial courses. Perhaps if K-12 education took a page out of higher ed’s book and started adapting these materials to suit a high schooler, we wouldn’t have the gap in the first place!

Ah well – Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and with K-12 education, nothing moves quickly. I guess that just means job security for me for a really long time!

Happy Tuesday, all!

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