Image Credit: iStockphoto
Image Credit: iStockphoto

Another interesting story connected with MOOCs, but also dealing with wider questions re academic skills, etc.:

After five years during which funding for public universities in the state has been slashed by about $1 billion (£650 million), Samuels says, the sector is now being told to solve its problems with a “magical techno- bullet”.

He argues that the proposal to replace bricks-and-mortar courses with online ones is “part of a larger culture of bashing teachers” and a way to circumvent academic control and its careful development of curricula.

“It’s taking away attention from our real problems,” he argues.

However, despite such arguments, the momentum seems to be with forms of web-based provision, particularly massive open online courses.

“Faculty have been resistant to change for some time,” says Gabi Zolla, vice-president for programmes, research and policy at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, a not-for-profit organisation that is pressing universities to award academic credit for students’ life and work experience. “This isn’t new. It doesn’t mean that early adopters can’t change the tide.”

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