MMOOCs — More Modest Open(?) Online(?) Courses(?)
Some backlash against MOOCs was inevitable. But things seem to be picking up steam. Last week, Amherst, after much wooing (and after saying no to for-profit providers), said no to edX.
… At about the same time, a post in the Chronicle of Higher Ed‘s “Conversation” blog compared MOOCs to the educational radio shows of the Depression era (and not favorably). Still more recently, a long New York Times piece (the cover story of the Sunday Review section this past weekend) relayed an Esquire editor’s experience of no less than 11 MOOCs (though, like a typical MOOC student, he didn’t complete most of them); turning the tables, he gave the MOOCs grades — e.g., a D for instructor-student interaction. And, noting the tendency of the main MOOC providers to come out of and partner with top-tier schools, the myriad observations on their putative elitism – one article, in reference to Coursera specifically, even called it “contractual elitism” — took an interesting turn last week when educators taking a global view of MOOCs, especially whence they come and whom they (best) serve, accused them of “intellectual neo-colonialism.”