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Top US universities put their reputations online
BBC ^ | June 20, 2012 | Sean Coughlan

Posted on 06/21/2012 7:33:23 PM PDT by CutePuppy

This autumn more than a million students are going to take part in an experiment that could re-invent the landscape of higher education.

Some of the biggest powerhouses in US higher education are offering online courses - testing how their expertise and scholarship can be brought to a global audience.

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have formed a $60m (£38m) alliance to launch edX, a platform to deliver courses online - with the modest ambition of "revolutionising education around the world".

Sounding like a piece of secret military hardware, edX will provide online interactive courses which can be studied by anyone, anywhere, with no admission requirements and, at least at present, without charge.

With roots in Silicon Valley, Stanford academics have set up another online platform, Coursera, which will provide courses from Stanford and Princeton and other leading US institutions.

The first president of edX is Anant Agarwal, director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and one of the pioneers of the MITx online prototype.

He puts forward a statistic that encapsulates the game-changing potential.

The first online course from MITx earlier this year had more students than the entire number of living students who have graduated from the university.

In fact, it isn't far from the total of all the students who have ever been there since the 19th Century.

'Tipping point'

The internet provides an unparalleled capacity to expand the reach - but it also raises far-reaching and thorny questions for the traditional model of a university.

.....

(Excerpt) Read more at m.bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: change; coursera; digital; digitaleducation; education; harvard; internet; mitx; online; onlineeducation; opportunity; princeton; publicschools; schools; stanford; universities
MIT has been providing many courses before through MITx, but they were not accredited, though a tremendous resource. Internet has the chance to fundamentally change the way higher education is provided, but it is even a bigger no-brainer in the K-12 public and private schools system.

Online education, with mostly standard curriculum has the potential of freeing students and parents from busing or transporting to and from school (saving tremendous amount of time, gas money and the "environment" by significantly reducing traffic congestion and pollution - it can be sold as the "green solution" to the education problems), bullying, social peer pressure, schoolbooks printing, dramatic reductions in spending on "bigger/smaller classrooms" and many school buildings, as well as reduction in numbers of "educators" - teachers and bureaucrats - that would become unnecessary and/or redundant.

Will be fought tooth and nail by well-fed with government money "education" establishment, but eventually it will be done... first, in some more truly progressive (not phoney "progressives"/"liberal"/"Democratic") states, and then pretty much demanded everywhere.

Whether this will save people money and/or taxes will depend on the states and/or school districts (who don't usually have the incentive to "save" Other People's Money) but the tidal wave of Internet transformation will be felt in the public education, just like it's been felt in the private sector.

Also of interest, on the same subject is recent article by Steve Klinsky (founder and CEO of Mountain Capital, active in education reform since 1993):
Computerizing the Campus | The Virtual Classroom - B (sub), by Steve Klinsky, 2012 June 16


1 posted on 06/21/2012 7:33:34 PM PDT by CutePuppy
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To: CutePuppy

I’ve watched a bunch of MIT courses online. It’s cool to get a different point of view from my current professors.


2 posted on 06/21/2012 7:40:23 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: CutePuppy

Not a bad idea. I had a few classes in college that I had to teach myself out of the textbook, the teacher was so bad (usually couldn’t speak enough English to order a Big Mac). This would, of course, twist the educrats’ heads in their sockets. The student could truly be an education consumer instead of being forced to put up with the local deadwood.


3 posted on 06/21/2012 7:45:16 PM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: CutePuppy

I learned only last night that MIT has been putting some content of courses online all the way back to 2002.


4 posted on 06/21/2012 7:50:20 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat (Free the Zimmermans. . . end this political, racist travesty of a "prosecution")
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To: EEGator

I’ve watched a bunch of MIT courses online. It’s cool to get a different point of view from my current professors.


I’ve watch some of those courses. Its not a bad resource if you already know the subject. But, the vast majority of students will not be able to pick up the material from the online lectures. Unless they change them radically. Most go way too fast and introduce material in an order that is not meant for novices.

Just my 2 cents.


5 posted on 06/21/2012 7:52:42 PM PDT by rbg81
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To: rbg81

I can see your point. I use them in addition to my actual classes I go to though.


6 posted on 06/21/2012 8:00:16 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: CutePuppy

www.khanacademy.com

Great instructional videos and free. If you have a kid that is having trouble with math concepts...this is the place...


7 posted on 06/21/2012 8:00:41 PM PDT by montomike (Politics should be about service and not a lucrative, money-making opportunity!)
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To: CutePuppy
The internet provides an unparalleled capacity to expand the reach - but it also raises far-reaching and thorny questions for the traditional model of a university.

The traditional model for education served Western civilization well for 1500 years, but it has been rendered obsolete by technology. We need to accept that and embrace a new, decentralized educational model, and hopefully to do it faster and more completely than other countries.

It is a coincidence, but our current economic downturn actually will help bring this new educational model about. Many families have a parent out of work, but just because they don't have a job doesn't mean they can't be valuable to society and their families. What we should be advocating is a homeschooling renaissance, to cut the regulations hindering greater homeschooling and have these parents teach their children. Many countries severely restrict homeschooling, but if we embrace it far more than we have currently, we can end up with the most educated work force in the world.

As for edX, it currently does not offer a degree, but a "certificate of mastery" or some such thing. Right now it is not worth a degree, but that will be solved by the marketplace. When an employer equates a certificate of mastery as being equal to a paid degree, then the upper level of education will be fundamentally changed. And no band aids to prop up student loans or paying teachers will stop the sea change.

8 posted on 06/21/2012 8:08:41 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: CutePuppy

bflr


9 posted on 06/21/2012 8:15:34 PM PDT by Kevmo (SUCINOFRAGOPWIASS: Shut Up, CINOs; Free Republic Aint a GOP Website. It's A Socon Site.)
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To: CutePuppy

Hillsdale had an online course about the Constitution. That was neat.


10 posted on 06/21/2012 8:16:57 PM PDT by chessplayer
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To: randog; EEGator; A_Former_Democrat; rbg81
The student could truly be an education consumer instead of being forced to put up with the local deadwood.

There are drawbacks for education outside of the "classroom" but there are also many advantages, besides financial, e.g., more time available and less "college life" distractions for those who really care about education rather than developing social ties aka "networking."

And as Klinsky noted in his article, "< snip > ..... it's possible to create a new and affordable life path forward for capable, highly motivated individuals seeking a higher education. Access to the American Dream would be strengthened, and taxpayers could save billions. ..... < snip >"

In the end, it's really all about individual. I would surmise that those who spend their time taking classes online are more interested in education than those who go to college because they can [afford it], such as "legacy" students. At least now the opportunity to learn becomes somewhat democratized - the rest is up to those who want to take it - no more "can't afford it, not equal field" excuses.

Yes, the educrats, especially in and of the public sector will not take this lying down, but they are being undermined from above, by the people who see the unsustainability (to borrow the "environmentalist" term) and the divergence of the current quality of education and its cost - to the individuals, the economy and, ultimately, the society.

11 posted on 06/21/2012 8:22:51 PM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

bookmark


12 posted on 06/21/2012 8:49:31 PM PDT by JDoutrider
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To: CutePuppy
The Virtual Classroom is all well and good, except that in order to take the courses, if you are not in public school, it will cost you well over $500 per course.

It would be great if there were some sort of umbrella schools that would cover homeschooling for college, and award degrees, like there are that award high school diplomas. Then folks could sign up with the umbrella school, take free courses online, have someone at the school look over the work, then award credits toward a degree. I don't see why this couldn't work for degrees in the Humanities, Mathematics, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences, and just about any degree that doesn't require serious laboratory work.

Wouldn't it be great if anyone could be an auto-didact, and be rewarded for their hard work, even if it takes them 6-10 years to finish the work. That way, they wouldn't need to quit the job that allows them to pay the bills, and they wouldn't have to get student loans, to boot.

13 posted on 06/21/2012 8:52:20 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: montomike; chessplayer
Hillsdale had an online course about the Constitution. That was neat.

www.khanacademy.com
Great instructional videos and free. If you have a kid that is having trouble with math concepts...this is the place...

The problem with these "academies" is that they may be great as supplemental or "hobby" teaching material, but they are not accredited (at least, not yet) and are not likely to be unless providing more than just one specific course. Also, it "flips" the model, but doesn't really displace or uproots the system, financially. However, it's a great resource for those who just want to learn or learn more and better.

From Turning the Classroom Upside Down | Why not have lectures at home and 'homework' at school -- and let students learn at their own pace? - WSJ, by Salman Khan, 2011 April 09


14 posted on 06/21/2012 8:55:00 PM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

I have gone through several I Tunes university courses.

The only thing missing is certifiable examinations to prove to another that the material has been mastered.

My son recently took the first part of his CPA exam at a testing center.

So?....if a Certified Public Accountant exam can be administered at a testing center, why not algebra, or high school history, or second grade spelling, third grade reading, or fourth grade geography?

If testing centers were willing to accept advertising perhaps even the testing to could be free to the student.


15 posted on 06/21/2012 8:58:46 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: CutePuppy; verga
One more thing:

Why isn't every government school K-12 class on the Internet from kindergarten through AP calculus? Hm? What the big cost in videoing a teacher? And...It should be entirely tuition-free to all the citizens of the state regardless of age. Hey! The citizens paid for it. What's the BIG secret?

16 posted on 06/21/2012 9:01:46 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: rbg81

Most go way too fast and introduce material in an order that is not meant for novices.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I agree. That is my experience with these courses. They are not meant for novices. But...I think that will soon change in response to demand.


17 posted on 06/21/2012 9:10:04 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: CutePuppy
Add certifiable testing to the on-line courses and this is a movement that will soon put a bunch of government teachers out of work and into the unemployment line.
18 posted on 06/21/2012 9:13:18 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: verga

Ping to post #18.


19 posted on 06/21/2012 9:14:25 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: Vince Ferrer
Many families have a parent out of work...

Mr. Mom could supervise the virtual education, but it doesn't have to be tied to traditional "homeschooling" either, any more than it would be to "traditional" public education, though it will seem to have the elements of both. The idea is to radically change the public education model, so that "homeschooling" won't be really necessary, while most of the education will be done, physically, from home, but at significantly lower expense (hopefully, if done right) than either public ed or homeschooling today.

As for edX, it currently does not offer a degree, but a "certificate of mastery" or some such thing. Right now it is not worth a degree, but that will be solved by the marketplace. When an employer equates a certificate of mastery as being equal to a paid degree, then the upper level of education will be fundamentally changed.

Exactly, that will be and should be "solved" by the marketplace, i.e., the employer will start looking more at qualifications and knowledge rather than a "degree" knowing that they come from about the same places.

Ideally, you could get business credits from Warton or Harvard, engineering from MIT or CalTech, law from Harvard or Yale, etc. etc. and get the "mastery" degree that would, at least "on paper," supercede those of physical college student-attendee.

Internet may finally allow people to be free of tyranny of "physical" educracy and rigidity of schedule, place, time, limited [if any] school choice and curriculum selection, and so on...

20 posted on 06/21/2012 9:22:05 PM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: wintertime; SuziQ
Why isn't every government school K-12 class on the Internet from kindergarten through AP calculus?

Should've been done long time ago, but some people and organizations are making too much money annually from printing books, with essentially a fixed material which would cost next to nothing to put on e-books (ePUB / PDF).

What the big cost in videoing a teacher?

That's exactly the problem - it wouldn't be, and in the eyes of educrats it would devalue it. Just like the music industry, the government-educracy axis of the "education industry" is starting to have problems "monetizing" the digital / Internet model and are resisting it because it benefits / frees the parents and students from long-and-carefully established tyranny of "free public education" model.

Obama is actually trying to convert higher education into the same model by having the government take over the student loan process. Harvard, MIT, Stanford and others see where it's going ("loan forgiveness") and are changing their models accordingly, not to be left high and dry with unperforming loans (just like the banks were with CRA mortgages).

This development is the private universities' direct response to the Obama's takeover of student loan industry / process and therefore, clear threat of "loan forgiveness" movement by the OWS (aka 0.99percenters).

They've had the capability of doing it before now (witness MITx) but didn't have the real incentive to go full bore... now they do.

21 posted on 06/21/2012 9:50:19 PM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

ping


22 posted on 06/21/2012 10:12:18 PM PDT by precisionshootist
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To: SuziQ; All
It would be great if there were some sort of umbrella schools that would cover homeschooling for college, and award degrees, like there are that award high school diplomas. Then folks could sign up with the umbrella school, take free courses online, have someone at the school look over the work, then award credits toward a degree.

Klinsky is writing just about that:

BTW, lab work can also be accomodated, just as it is now for those taking correspondence courses for full degrees. Usually it does take longer to complete one of those, but it's also because many people taking them are usually working, at least part time.

23 posted on 06/21/2012 10:14:17 PM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

Here come the Indian professors (more of ‘em, anyway). Sorry, maybe I’m a Luddite, but I hate this. It looks like another steaming pile of Global Society about to be rammed down our throats.


24 posted on 06/21/2012 10:51:20 PM PDT by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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To: Trod Upon
Sorry, maybe I'm a Luddite, but I hate this. It looks like another steaming pile of Global Society about to be rammed down our throats.

I'd characterise it more as a tint of xenophobia rather than Luddism. You don't seem to be afraid of technology per se, as long as it stays "American" rather than Indian or otherwise "foreign."

Internet and "communications" in general are "global" so, in theory, yes, you could get online education from a college which is "foreign" i.e., not physically located in the U.S. How about Toronto, Ottawa or Oxford or Cambridge, for example, would they be excluded from the list of "foreign" colleges/professors to be feared/disliked?

How can having more choice be described as being "rammed down our throats"? Did the introduction in the late '50s of cheaper better-made Japanese "toy" cars from Toyota and Nissan/Datsun into the US market ultimately benefit the American consumers and eventually free them from having to buy the American/UAW-made "boxes on wheels" from the Big Three?

This is the technology that can potentially empower consumers (parents and students) to break free from the government-sanctioned and institutionalized power of the "Big Education Industry" and we should object to this development on the lone basis that the empowered education consumers might choose educators who are not "American," rather than trust the [Global Society] marketplace and competition?

Isn't the availability of more, better choices better for consumers? Don't we want the people to be free to "shop" around and choose their education and educators?

Competition always benefits consumer, regulation benefits the governments and the monopolies.

25 posted on 06/22/2012 12:35:49 AM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy
See the below link for he MIT OCW "Introduction to Computer Science and Programming" course syllabus. Note that they are going over topics like Hashing, Graphs, Monte Carlo Simulations, and Dynamic Programming in an "introductory" course. No mention of basic topics like data types, associativity/precedence, or even assignment statements--in short, topics you would expect to devote a whole class to at the Freshment CS level. I can't imagine covering this material in a computer science class where the students has less than one year of programming under their belt. Seems like its meant for someone already well versed in the computer science field.

MIT OCW - Intro to Computer Science & Programming

26 posted on 06/22/2012 4:06:49 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: CutePuppy

Leave it to these guys to mess up a trend .....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/14/goldman-sachs-for-profit-college_n_997409.html


27 posted on 06/22/2012 4:14:12 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: CutePuppy

Passage of the national exam would lead to an accredited course credit
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I hope those national exams would be through privately owned and managed companies. We **know** it can be done. We already have examples of this:

—SAT and ACT exams are widely accepted and recognized as valid.

— The board exams to certify our nation’s professionals are another.

— And...When my children studied Spanish in Costa Rica a private firm confirmed that their studies were valid and our state universities awarded .them 2 semesters of college credit.


28 posted on 06/22/2012 4:30:55 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: CutePuppy

transferable to a traditional institution
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Along with On-line courses and the private sector making certifiable testing available, hopefully we can wean employers away from their dependence on requiring university degrees.

Suggestion: Encourage employers to accept SAT and ACT scores as a measure of reading and math skills, and as a measure of the applicants ability to concentrate on the task at hand and finish the job. Requiring a degree from a university is really only necessary for the licensed professions.

Honestly, little of the work done in the United States actually requires a degree. What is needed is the knowledge to do the job, or the reading and math skills necessary to learn how to do the job. Most employers spend a significant amount of time and money **training** their employees. My son has a masters degree in accounting, graduated last December, and is being trained ( “mentored”) by his employers now, even with his masters degree.


29 posted on 06/22/2012 4:42:01 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: CutePuppy
One more thing:

I am now a full-time student at a private artist's atelier ( rigorous art training).

I am highly active in the art community in my state and region. I have spoken to many, many **many** artists who were thoroughly disgusted with the quality of their art training in their university and at the expense. Ateliers, not only in fine art, but other areas of study, seem to be becoming more popular. **Serious** artists are abandoning the universities.

30 posted on 06/22/2012 4:52:39 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: CutePuppy
Competition always benefits consumer, regulation benefits the governments and the monopolies.
{like}
31 posted on 06/22/2012 4:58:48 AM PDT by samtheman (If we want Obamugabe out, we must vote him out.)
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To: wintertime
"What's the BIG secret?"

The big secret is the incompetence of some teachers and the brainwashing content of much coursework. If the general public actually had full-time video access to the classrooms of their offspring, they would be appalled at what happens there.

32 posted on 06/22/2012 5:27:08 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog
The big secret is the incompetence of some teachers and the brainwashing content of much coursework. If the general public actually had full-time video access to the classrooms of their offspring, they would be appalled at what happens there.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Excellent idea! And...you are completely correct in all you points! All government school classes should be videoed and streamed ON-LINE!

I was thinking differently, though. Why not video **one** teacher teaching the typical course work for 3rd grade arithemetic, or **one** teacher teaching fifth grade socialist studies, or **one** teacher teaching 11th grade American History?

Honestly,....It could be done **once** and would be good for 10 or more years. What's the BIG secret that this couldn't be placed on-line and be completely free to all the citizens of the state?

If this was coupled with certifiable and proctored exams, bright students could zoom ahead and graduate **YEARS** earlier. The slower students would have access to the on-line courses for review, and adult citizens could take enrichment courses or fill in gaps in their own educations and have a certification to present to an employer.

I bet this isn't done because it would mean the loss jobs for government teachers as bright students graduated years earlier. Personally, I believe we have government schools to provide **lots** of jobs for modestly talented white collar state employees. And....As you pointed out so well....The course content would be shocking.

33 posted on 06/22/2012 6:16:46 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime
"I was thinking differently, though. Why not video **one** teacher teaching the typical course work for 3rd grade arithemetic, or **one** teacher teaching fifth grade socialist studies, or **one** teacher teaching 11th grade American History?"

Different problems. I was originally looking at a way to improve classroom discipline on the part of unruly students, and thought "hey....why not a vidcam in the classroom pointed at the students". If parents could monitor the behaviour of their precious offspring (and their misbehaviour) themselves, I thought that discipline problems would quickly diminish. I then realized that a second camera, pointed at the "teacher's station" would also address the "teacher incompetence/brainwashing" issue.

I think the ultimate endpoint will be some combination of both our suggested approaches. One thing you don't mention that I see as happening is that there will be more than one approach to teaching specific subjects. Some students just learn differently than others. The vid-course approach allows the development of multiple teaching/learning styles beneficial to the different student "learning types".

34 posted on 06/22/2012 6:27:33 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: rbg81

You are exactly right. I read somewhere most of the students in the MITx classes are working professionals. The attrition rate is extremely high as well: 120,000 enrolled and 10,000 left @ mid-term exam.


35 posted on 06/22/2012 7:29:51 AM PDT by HonkyTonkMan
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To: HonkyTonkMan

Not to say MIT couldn;t produce an introductory course “for the masses” if it wanted to. But it false to represent what they have there now as such.

Looked over their lecture notes for some other CS classes too. Their lecture notes skip over a lot of intermediate steps that 98% of students would need to see. In short, its not written for your anyone who doesn’t already know the subject matter (or is a genius to begin with).

Perhaps they regard real introductory material as beneath their brand. But, .....if I wanted to be conspiratorial, I’d say this was a honeypot to draw prospective students in, totally humiliate them, and then thereby reinforce why they need in-class instruction.


36 posted on 06/22/2012 7:47:24 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: rbg81; HonkyTonkMan
Not to say MIT couldn't produce an introductory course “for the masses” if it wanted to. But it false to represent what they have there now as such.

I am not sure that MITx misrepresents these courses as being "for the masses" or for the novices and they obviously can create the online introductory material ("CS-101") but that was not their intent, but it is a good demonstration of what is possible to do - technologically - with online education.

edX is supposed to be different in nature and purpose, but it doesn't have all the pieces of actual "formal education" either.

These are mostly the demos for now, but they show what the "future" may look like and what the marketplace can adopt; e.g., there are probably not too many non-online "traffic schools" left in the U.S., when only 10 years ago it was probably rare to find a "court-accredited" online school where the course and the test can be taken for the traffic tickets.

And if the likes of MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Wharton/UPenn et al won't make those available to fill the actual full curriculum, this will only open the door to "smaller" colleges to fill the void and become more relevant than just becoming places where the "lab and hands-on" work will be done and the tests will be taken but not much more.

The entire idea is that once online education becomes accepted as a way of getting accredited education and degrees, it will open the entire field to competition where some universities can leverage their well known names and reputations for usually expensive and elitist "quality education" to grab substantial market share in much less expensive and more egalitarian online education, rather than cede the market to the "periphery" - "... the market may well determine that it is more attractive to serve many students at a very low cost than to serve a few students at a very high cost."

With every new disrupting technological advance - such as Internet - there is always a question for the entrenched - to oppose the technology and try to stand in the way of it (usually using the government and "laws" the way music industry and DRMA tried to deal with digital music and P2P/torrent tech) or to be in the forefront of the technology and jump in front of the parade to become leaders and grab market share (the way Apple reinvented itself with iPod an iTunes).

Here are some interesting views from four "visionaries" on the availability and fiscal realities of college education as it exists today (not online, but relevant to the subject discussed).

From Do Too Many Young People Go to College? - WSJ, by Lauren Weber, 2012 June 21


37 posted on 06/22/2012 11:25:42 AM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: wintertime
Honestly,....It could be done **once** and would be good for 10 or more years. What's the BIG secret that this couldn't be placed on-line and be completely free to all the citizens of the state?

The BIG secret is that it makes BIG money for the re-publishers of this [mostly trivial] material.

38 posted on 06/22/2012 11:40:33 AM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

Add: with the study material online and/or on e-books, the turtoring for slower pace students could be done using social media, interactively, in real time, by peers, without having to be physically present at the same place - to great relief of many parents.


39 posted on 06/22/2012 1:08:03 PM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

I think my use of the phrase “for the masses” was probably a poor choice. What I meant to say was that the MIT online courses were not structured in a way that would enable worthy students (who are less than MIT caliber) to get through the course. Keeping the material ‘elite’ limits the effective scope of these initiatives.

I teach university level computer science and also don’t believe everyone should go to college. As I’ve said before, my own observation is that 1/3 of the students currently in college definitely belong there, the bottom 1/3 don’t belong there, and the middle 1/3 might belong there if they decided to apply themselves. Unfortunately, many faculty DO want everyone to go to college to ensure their job security. They want the asses in seats, even if those kids have a high probability of washing out.

As far as online eduction, its really hard to overstate how undisciplined & lazymany college students are. The truth is that online courses actually require MORE discipline on the part of the student. This is because it is that much easier for most of them to ignore—out of sight, out of mind. For this reason, I think online courses might be a poor match for them.

The other factor is making sure that they are the ones doing the work. That is hard enough to ensure even in a Brick and Mortar classroom setting. There are some innovations that try to minimize cheating/plagarism (like biometric scanning and indiviudally encoding downloaded templates for each student to complete). These may make it harder to cheat, but not impossible.


40 posted on 06/22/2012 1:17:45 PM PDT by rbg81
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To: CutePuppy

I had a good friend once that graduated from MIT....had the BEST schooling money could buy...we talked about waveguides and stuff...he said “I know the math and how waves propagate down the waveguide, but I have no effing idea how that wave go in there to start with - they didn’t teach us that.”

I showed him. Apparently MIT LL and crew, ‘so-called’ inventors of American Radar, didn’t bother to take care of the little things.. for all you out there, the first radar was in England, and the first Microwave radar was made possible by a British Klystron....so much for LL’s RadLab series.


41 posted on 06/22/2012 1:22:20 PM PDT by Gaffer
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To: CutePuppy
Because education is a huge part of enculturation, I have serious misgivings about the ability of foreign institutions to produce what for lack of a better term I will call "finished Americans." We have enough difficulty with the leftists in our domestic institutions, and I fail to see how predominately 3rd world professors (as you must know they will be, labor costs being what they are) will be less hostile to Western civilization than their US counterparts. So I question the value of what we will ultimately be getting beyond the educational equivalent of cheap, commoditized Chinese crap at Walmart and empty US industrial sites. Maybe it will work differently this time, but I am not hopeful.

It also sounds like a great way to slowly offshore the last vestiges of US research institutions (hey, MIT probably would be cheaper at Chennai) while producing a new generation of people at home who view themselves increasingly as "Citizens of the world." And they are of no use; I have never met a self-described COTW that was not an absolutely flaming internationalist lefty. The market is great for setting the value of fungible commodity items, but I don't view an education as such. Mere technical training, sure, but education is broader, and I think properly imparted it serves to reinforce a sense of nationhood in our young adults.

Sure more choices are better, right up until they lead to fewer choices, as has happened with the decimation of whole swaths of American industry. I suppose some people don't mind seeing highway bridges and national monuments being imported, but it smells of civilizational gangrene to me. Furthermore, just because something is "market driven" doesn't mean it is beneficial or even benign. The market drove captive human labor in America (still does in some places). True, it may eventually have ended the practice when slave maintenance grew expensive enough by comparison to other means, but still. I guess we just fundamentally disagree.
42 posted on 06/22/2012 3:39:09 PM PDT by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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To: Trod Upon
US research institutions
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Once upon a time the U.S. did not have government funded research institutions. Gee! How did we ever manage? ( sarc.)

43 posted on 06/22/2012 9:43:39 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime
I am now a full-time student at a private artist's atelier ( rigorous art training).

Congratulations to you, I would like to do that some day as well. I am a rather serious amature myself.

44 posted on 06/23/2012 7:06:31 AM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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