“Once I took the spinal cord out, the course went quite gelatinous.”

10 05 2013

You should really go read Jeremy Adelman dissect his own World History MOOC over at the Princeton Alumni Weekly. As an added bonus, you can read me say the exact same things I’ve been writing here for almost a year now.




3 responses

10 05 2013

I am really glad that I have found your blog and I wish I knew about it when you were blogging about Adelman’s Coursera course. I was enrolled in it, was engaged in the discussions, and then stopped attending due to other obligations. I have also followed very closely the MOOC “revolution” and share many of your observations and opinions on the matter. I will be reading some of your older blogs when I have a chance to do so. (from a humble community college instructor)

This says a lot about replacing in-class lectures with online ones: “The one thing I learned about this experience is that the spinal cord of a conventional Princeton survey course like this one is the lectures,” Adelman says.“Once I took the spinal cord out, the course went quite gelatinous. It lost its structure. So I have to build it back in.”

10 05 2013
Jonathan Rees

To see that series, click on the “World History MOOC” category tab at right and scroll down a bit. Also, CC instructors rock.

11 05 2013
Music for Deckchairs

That’s a useful link, especially for the discussion of the impact of the MOOC delivery mode on the regular Princeton student experience. I think we’re still not quite able to see what the relationship is between the Elite U students and what this writer charmingly calls “the masses”, which I’m guessing is the rest of us. There’s no requirement for Elite U to try to do two things at once, so why do they? Why not just carry on as usual on campus, and then broadcast videos and quizzes to the Great Unwashed as an entirely separate proposition.

It would be very uncomfortable indeed to discover that the perceived virtue of the connection between the two is to give Elite U students access to the Great Unwashed as some kind of anthropological exposure to the wider world. Like travel, only less so.

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