What started out as a classic left-right confrontation is evolving into an interesting split.
Until now, conservatives concerned about academic bias have embraced, or at least enthused over, Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, as a means of circumventing that bias. Meanwhile, tenured liberals have fought it in order to protect their turf. As we have reported, at the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Martin Kich has devoted regular blogs to attacking MOOCs on the AAUP blog—Academe.org.
Recently, though, at the Philadelphia Society regional meeting in Atlanta, Elizabeth Corey of Baylor devoted most of her presentation to critiquing MOOCs. “There is a place for this kind of learning but it should not substitute for the real kind of learning,” she told the audience at the Georgian Terrace Hotel.
She teaches political science at Baylor. “Liberal learning requires a place with people we can come to know and love,” Corey told the crowd at the Society’s meeting last weekend.
With all due respect to the lady, too few professors are as loveable as she. Moreover, if more professors of her caliber taught MOOCs, they could reach multitudes of students who do not have the opportunity to attend her lectures in person.
What a break that would be for student stuck, to give an example, in the University of California system or at NYU.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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