By T. Hugh Crawford
While I was hiking the Appalachian Trail this past summer, Georgia Tech, my home institution, announced its affiliation with Coursera and launched itself headlong into the MOOC world.
It occurred to me as I ambled down the trail that day that an intensely embodied experience like long-distance hiking seemed the opposite of long-distance education. Hiking requires taking not only a careful equipment inventory but also a constant inventory of your own body: checking hydration, sore muscles, arthritic knees, blisters, and an always-too-heavy pack.
I realized that to MOOC or not to MOOC was not really the question. The real issue was how brick-and-mortar institutions could embrace MOOCs while continuing to build on the strengths of local, capital-intensive pedagogical practices—actual in-the-flesh pedagogy in a world of Coursera.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/MOOCsthe-Material-World/138787/ ]