Wesleyan's Secrets To Successful MOOCs - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software
News
8/30/2013
11:50 AM
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

Wesleyan's Secrets To Successful MOOCs

Wesleyan University polls students regularly and avoids flashy Hollywood techniques to ensure its massive open online courses are effective without breaking the budget.

One of the instructors is the school's own president, Michael Roth, who brought his course The Modern and the Postmodern to the Coursera platform. Roth has taught this course conventionally for decades.

"It's been really heady, the level of excitement and learning," Roth said about his 14-week course, which attracted 25,000 enrollments. "[25,000] sounds like a lot, but my colleague has 200,000 in his social psychology class," he said.

Not only was the diversity notable, with students from all over the world, Roth said the discussion-board exchanges were "great."

"The quality is just wonderful," he said, adding he also didn't anticipate so much camaraderie from people with such different backgrounds. Roth plans to reprise his Coursera MOOC this fall.

Switching hats to his administrative role, Roth said he doesn't believe MOOCs per se will have a disruptive impact on schools like Wesleyan.

He also rejected the argument that schools are pursuing MOOCs as a stealth approach to gutting their faculty ranks.

"I think technologies of education will be embraced insofar as [they] help people learn, certainly not because they make it cheaper to run an institution," Roth said. Roth added that Wesleyan's first round of Coursera classes, produced for around $15,000 apiece, have been well received.

"Some schools are spending 10 times that much, and I don't think their classes are any better," he said. Universities and colleges that prize the "subtle connections people make while learning -- and professors are a core dimension of that" -- will prosper and find ways to serve lifelong learners.

Roth said learning the possibilities of online education are important because these platforms will give institutions novel ways of providing classes, such as mixing online instruction into classroom experiences and giving students more flexibility to learn on campus or off campus.

But make no mistake: "We're going to double down on why the residential experience can be so powerful, even while experimenting with MOOCs," Roth said.

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll