Over at Adjunct Rebellion, a scathing assessment of MOOCs:
While the last 20 years of academia have seen these two destructive practices aimed at the professoriate, it hasn’t been until lately that the threat is driven by the internet — in the case of academia, in the form of MOOCs that are now looming enormous, casting monstrous shadows over the college campus. The MOOC model, from the standpoint of the professoriate, is an entirely exploitative one. The professor designs a class, has lectures and other media support shot and “canned” — and then the university, or the MOOC itself owns that material. It OWNS the intellectual property of a professor who has trained for, on average, a decade for advanced degrees, who has taught for years and developed skills and abilities. And, once that particular area of scholarship is canned — who needs the professor, ANY professor, anymore?
This is an example of the rhetoric of crisis I discussed earlier, and let me be clear that I don’t always think that’s a bad or un-useful thing–it just depends on what your goals are. If your goal is to wallow, then it works great. If your goal is to get tenure, you’re barking up the wrong tree (these two goals, incidentally, are espoused by the folks over at the Philosophy Smoker Blog, a nest of nattering nabobs of negativism, which openly admits that its focus is to “bitch about” trying to make it in academic philosophy). If your goal is to make a living, then just quit and do something else (and you CAN do something else).
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