I noticed this post sitting in my Draft box since May of last year… Although it’s outdated, I think it’s still worth calling attention to given the Gold Rush to Online education climate we’re currently experiencing… If anyone knows how how well it’s been working since Last year or has personally taken one of their courses, please post about your experience within the comments.
I don’t know whether to feel excited by this announcement from Harvard and MIT’s new online education program, or sigh out a ho-hum–the way they talk, it’s as if no one has ever thought about online education before.(“Hey, there’s this new thing that’s going to revolutionize the world–it’s called “electronic mail!”).
Rather than the self-praise about innovation, I think what’s important to the rest of us is that two gorillas of education have made such a publicly formal declaration supporting online education. What they haven’t talked about however, is how what they are going to be doing is any different from anyone else–I’ve listened to a number of courses via Open Universities, YouTube in general, Udacity.com, Great Courses, as well as how my own university is approaching online education (asynchronously). What I would like to see is more discussion on different types of courses based on different subject matter (a physics course is/should work differently than a literature course online or in class). I would also like to see more discussion on costs–not only for the classes but also for the universities. In addition, I would like more discussion also on who “owns” the course content (or how it is determined).
One of the things this announcement kept focusing on was the numbers–they keep referencing thousands and millions. I can see their website now: “Over 1 billion served.”