Online Learning Summit: Everything But MOOCs Approach to Online Education on Campus!

Dear Commons Community,

Burks Oakley, a colleague of mine at the University of Illinois, alerted me to this Inside Higher Education article on the recent Online Learning Summit organized by U. of California, Berkeley, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.  As commented in the article, speakers “seemed to follow an everything-but-MOOCs approach to online education on campus”.  The article goes on to mention:

“There was Ellen Junn, the former provost of San Jose State University and now at California State University at Dominguez Hills, pointing out that “technically speaking, what San Jose State did [in its partnership with Udacity] was not actually create MOOCs.” The university instead tried to use online courses for remedial education, but later abandoned the project…

While Coursera and edX officials were once again on the guest list, they appeared this year only in the audience — not on stage.

“Look at the program for this year,” said John C. Mitchell, Stanford’s vice provost for online learning. “What a difference a year makes.”

This year’s speakers were asked to consider “How Technology Impacts the Pedagogy and Economics of Residential Higher Education” — the summit’s subtitle — yet it took until halfway through the summit for one speaker to point out that the majority of students pursuing higher education don’t fit into that shrinking slice of the market.”

It seems to me that the organizers of this “summit” needed to brush up on the research and  best-practices literature on online learning much of which emanated in the mid-1990s at public universities, community colleges, and for-profit institutions.


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