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Why Professors at San Jose State Won’t Use a Harvard Professor’s MOOC

02 May

Peter J. Hadreas, chair of the philosophy department at San Jose State, said the professors hope to spark a public conversation about the consequences that can result when superstar professors work with edX
and other MOOC providers.
[ SJSU ]

By Steve Kolowich

Professors in the philosophy department at San Jose State University are refusing to teach a philosophy course developed by edX, saying they do not want to enable what they see as a push to “replace professors, dismantle departments, and provide a diminished education for students in public universities.”

The San Jose State professors also called out Michael Sandel, the Harvard government professor who developed the course for edX, suggesting that professors who develop MOOCs are complicit in how public universities might use them.

In an open letter this week addressed to Mr. Sandel, the philosophy professors decried a dean’s request that the department integrate a MOOC version of “Justice,” the Harvard professor’s famous survey course, into the curriculum at San Jose State.

“In spite of our admiration for your ability to lecture in such an engaging way to such a large audience,” the letter’s authors write, “we believe that having a scholar teach and engage with his or her own students is far superior to having those students watch a video of another scholar engaging his or her students.”

[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Professors-at-San-Jose/138941/ ]

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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in MOOCs in the News

 

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