“Year after year, you’re walking into the same room, saying the same words,” said Stanford University computer scientist Andrew Ng. “Year after year, telling the same jokes. You start to wonder if this is how best to teach.”
– Nick Anderson, “More universities try the MOOC model by moving professors’ lectures online,” Washington Post, February 25, 2103.
Does Ng really think professors script out everything they say during lectures in advance? Really????!!!
Less obviously, the basic premise of that quote is that all lecturing is equally bad. Suppose I’m a really good lecturer who actually does read from a script in every class. Unless a student is taking a course over, the material is still new to them.
What offends me most about that quote though is the idea that teaching is all about the delivery, as if any professor’s primary purpose is to be entertaining. Yet, under the Coursera MOOC model, once perfected the lectures will literally never change.
The irony is just killing me.
PS I’m definitely going back to this WP article about Philip Zelikow’s history MOOC on Monday.