The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of MOOCs

14 Mar

Why massive open online courses can be a mixed bag

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

By Rachelle DeJong

This week I watched the eighth and final set of lectures for “Introduction to Sustainability,” the Coursera MOOC I’ve been taking and chronicling over the past few weeks. This week’s topic was “measuring sustainability.”

Seated before a camera, a photo of Utah’s Arches National Park behind him, Professor Tomkin opened his lecture just as he’s opened every lecture for the past seven weeks: “G’day. I’m Jonathan Tomkin from the University of Illinois,” pronounced with a smile and an Australian accent.

I’d like to meet Professor Tomkin. He seems friendly and fair-minded, the kind of professor whose office door would always be open.

Periodically glancing at his notes on a computer screen to his left, he explained a slew of metaphoric footprints: carbon, water, and so on. He spoke clearly, if a little less articulately than in previous lectures. I wonder if all eight weeks’ lectures were filmed in one day.

[ Full article available at The Fiscal Times: ]

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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in MOOCs in the News, Op-Ed



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