New President of Yale Peter Salovey on a Digital Strategy, Online Education and MOOCs!

Dear Commons Community,

Yale University said Thursday that Peter Salovey, a celebrated scholar of psychology who has been its provost for the past four years, would be its new president.  In his first interview since being named, he indicated that he will have a number if challenges.  One issue he sees as critical is accessibility.

“That means figuring out ways for deserving students to wind up on this campus,” he said, “but it also means a digital strategy that makes more of Yale’s treasure — whether it’s scholarship or pedagogy or collections — available online. Moving from a collection of opportunities to a deliberate strategy for giving the riches of Yale, the wealth of Yale, away.”

That includes online education, a field which many universities are now struggling to navigate.

“I think the excitement about MOOCs” — massive online open courses — “is fine,” Dr. Salovey said, “but it’s really only one part of what online tools can provide, and it may in the end not be the most important part.”

A potentially larger question, he said, is how to adapt the old teaching model for students who have grown up online.

By way of experimentation, in the seminar he teaches this semester, called Great Big Ideas, students watch the course’s lectures online, leaving classroom time entirely free for interactive discussion.”

Good luck to President Salovey and may he lead Yale well!



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