Superprofessor or marionette?

8 11 2013

“Individual professors largely retain the right to choose what they teach and how, even when they’re teaching sections of the same course as other professors. That’s the American Association of University Professors’ take on individual vs. collective responsibility for course design, as laid out in its new statement on the matter.

– Coleen Flaherty, “‘Freedom to Teach,'” Inside Higher Education, November 8, 2013.

The professors said they typically developed the lessons and sent them to the Udacity employee to turn the lectures into scripts, complete with demonstrations and jokes. For the lesson on “Sensation and Perception,” Ms. Castellano came up with the idea of staging a “sense Olympics.” She and another Udacity employee pretended to be news anchors giving updates from contests that demonstrated human senses. The scenes are playful, and the professors even filmed mock advertisements for related “products.”.

– Jeffrey R. Young, “Will MOOCs Change the Way Professors Handle the Classroom?,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 7, 2013.



2 responses

8 11 2013

They’ll buy course material once, have someone else turn it into a script, and then hire an actor to read the script. And that will somehow be better than a human being who knows what’s what in a field and tries to communicate that. I think the further they push this, the worse and worse MOOC stuff sounds, until finally it will sound like crap even to the most desperate of deans and provosts. And then legislators? Who knows.

9 07 2014
Even superprofessors deserve academic freedom. | The Academe Blog

[…] The name on the marquis that attracts tens of thousands of eyeballs to the course. While I am not a big fan of superprofessors in general, I am more than willing to defend their academic freedom in […]

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