“How should historians respond to MOOCs?”: The movie!

8 01 2014

Watch for the dramatic entrance by Jeremy Adelman about three quarters of the way through the picture:

My notes are here and additional thoughts here.



3 responses

9 01 2014

Thank you for posting the link. Some excellent issues were raised at the panel.

Here is my reaction to one of the comments:

I was unnerved by Philip Zelikow’s statement that MOOCs can be better than classes at community colleges. He was quite condescending about the quality of teaching at such institutions.

While his daughter had a bad experience taking a history class at a local college, other students may have had similar experiences in more prestigious institutions. The fact of the matter is that there are mediocre professors in all levels of education and mediocre people at society at large. The difference between a superprofessor and a community college instructor is that the latter knows her audience better and can adjust her teaching style to the level and needs of her students while the former is an impersonal stranger.

10 01 2014

Thanks, dpdeva. As a friend of mine who was at the panel said, there are ways of reaching out to a broader student body without doing a MOOC. She said, “let’s see these MOOC guys teach a 4-4 load at a non-elite university, and then tell us how rewarding teaching is!” And I tried to make the point on the panel that a lot of us teach at CCs, nonselective 4-year universities, and many more of us work with first-generation college students.

Does this mean we’re all necessarily bad teachers because we’re not at elite institutions?

6 02 2014
MOOC-surfing. | More or Less Bunk

[…] All of the papers from our MOOC forum at the American Historical Association about a month ago are now online at AHA Perspectives. Mine is here. This seems like a good place to thank David Mazel, Ian Petrie and especially Perspectives Editor Allen Mikaelian for helping make that essay the best it could be. However, it is no different than the version you may have already heard by playing the tape of the session. […]

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