CIC to Consider Starting Own Coursera-like System, BTN-style

Submitted by maizeonblueaction on June 19th, 2013 at 12:31 PM

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/06/19/big-10-provosts-question-partnerships-ed-tech-companies The concern expressed by some provosts is that once a private-company gets involved in higher education, it's no longer controlled by the actual academics. They mainly do courseshare now with less-common languages, but they think they can expand it to more fields and make their own system, though the talks are still in early stages; however everyone seems to think the private model is a temporary solution, and will more help the CIC avoid some of the same mistakes.

Comments

woomba

June 19th, 2013 at 12:38 PM ^

so it's more of a hybrid system than a pure on-line course system.  Otherwise I don't see the value of going through the trouble of internal development when U-M's already part of Coursera.

BlueCE

June 19th, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

This is dumb, trying to reinvent the wheel, the bigger concern is what will happen to quality of online courses as more content is available online free (so many great free classes already online).  This is a dumb move by the CIC, it is like we are trying to bring out the Beta Max 3 years too late. Michigan is already in a great partnership with Stanford, Penn, Princeton, etc.  The private model is working amazing, it is great to see so many high quality options available.  But now you see people scrambling to keep their jobs and some sort of relevance.

Jon06

June 19th, 2013 at 3:00 PM ^

The private model is not working amazing[ly], and it's not especially high quality for most fields. The vast majority of people who start online courses fail to finish them, and among those who do finish, there's no telling how many cheat. There's also no high-quality individualized feedback, which is what you're actually paying for on campuses, because it's what actually has a chance of providing you with an education. MOOC lectures for many subjects aren't much different than books, after all. They're great for certain things--self-guided instruction in computer programming, brushing up on things for working professionals, etc. But they are not replacements for what universities already provide, and there are already departments refusing to use MOOCs that their administrations have attempted to force on them.

BlueCE

June 19th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

First, thanks for calling me ignorant when in fact I know quiet a bit about the subject.  But nothing like a nice insult to start a comment.

Second, my point was not on the validity of MOOCs but on the need of the CIC to start their own program by which they will just be trying to re-invent the wheel for a program that I am willing to bet will not be as good or efficient as what Coursera and others offer.  Yes, MOOCs are not perfect, but they have accomplished so much in just a few years since they started. With the high cost of education, MOOCs will provide an invaluable accreditation tool and they will provide access to great professors for a larger community.  Yes, it'd be great if every student could sit 1 on 1 with a top professor, but that is not possible.  All we are seeing now is many universities scrambling because people are getting a lot (not all, or even the majority) of the value from a university degree at a much lower cost and we are hopefully going to since downward pricing pressures on education costs.

 

Hey, at least when students don't finish an online course they are not $50K in debt. And cheating happens everywhere, especially in college admissions (i.e., http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-levy/college-applicants-cheat_b_1…).

 

I personally gained a lot more from university from my classmates than from professors (some were great, but it is tough to get much "feedback" when you are sitting in an EECS lecture with 400 other students). 

Universities as we know it will not go away, and I would much rather attend UM than do a bunch of online courses, but to descredit MOOCs, say that it has been not been amazing what they have accomplished in such a short period, and to undervalue what they offer I think is completely misguided.