Academic Technology Links October 3, 2012

Approved LinksHere are links to academic technology-related blog posts and articles for this week — all of them having to do with e-learning and MOOCs.  Enjoy!


“A Disruption Grows Up?” — One of the primary benefits of innovations in technology-enhanced education is the development of massively individualized learning.  MOOCs represent one strand of this development by allowing students to “cover the material” somewhat at their own pace. Competency-based evaluation provides a different strand of development which allows students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, skill, or ability acquired in other settings than classes.  Traditionally, this type of learning has been studied in the context of adult education, but it has potential for “traditional” students as well.

“The Crisis in Higher Education” — Our old friend Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, looks at MOOCS and the future of higher education, asking “Is this a fad or is higher education about to get the overhaul it needs?”

“Massive, Open, Online Classes — Presentation Scales, Does Interaction?” — A computer science professor muses on scaling interaction in massive courses.

“A President Next Door” — Interesting to see the attention given to e-learning in this highly visible event of the inauguration of MIT’s new president.  “The research university is not an ornament or a luxury that society can choose to go without,” he said. “Society continues to need what a residential research university does better than any other institution: incubate young talent who create the new knowledge and innovation that fuel our society.”  If the risks of embracing online learning are formidable, he said, the opportunities are even greater, namely, “the opportunity to better serve society by reinventing what we do and how we do it,” by making higher education more affordable, accessible, and effective.

“ANU Vice-Chancellor Issues MOOCs Warning” — “If you’re giving away content and you’ve got a primary product that it’s in competition with, then you better hope what you’re giving away is inferior to your primary product, otherwise it’s going to compete with it.”

About Kim Mann

Kim Mann is the editor and a writer for the Academic Technology Blog. She earned her BA in English from the University of Minnesota in 2003 and her MA in American Studies from William & Mary in 2009, and her PhD in American Studies at the College in 2014. Her research is on technology, the interface, and the body in mid-twentieth century science fiction.