Monday, February 20, 2012

This Week's Reading List

A faculty member grapples with loss of authority, higher learning for a one-to-many world, and a pioneering school continues to innovate, all on this week's reading list.

"The 'Undue Weight' of Truth on Wikipedia"
This is a very nice article in The Chronicle Review that covers the experiences of a faculty member, a known expert in a certain field, who attempts to "correct" a Wikipedia article covering his area of expertise. What follows is a frustrating experience for the faculty member, but is characteristic of what happens when one-to-many notions of authority collide with our many-to-many world.

"MIT launches free online 'fully automated' course"
MITx continues to lead the development of online coursework. All portions of this fully free course, on the subject of circuits and electronics, are online: including the course content, the exercises and virtual laboratory, and discussion forums. The course is proclaimed to be just as rigorous as the same course on the Boston campus. The question remains: is this indicative of a higher education or an exercise in vocational certification? And if learning becomes separated from face-to-face collaboration, are we really creating the types of innovative thinkers our economy needs?

"A Bachelor's Degree for $10,000"
Excelsior College is known for innovative programs that help adult learners complete a college degree. This announcement of a new program, that pares students together with free, online courses that prepare them for credit by exam testing. President John Ebersole is a leader in this field, and this program ranks up there with the competency-based programs of Western Governors University in terms of outreach to post-traditional college students. When we fully crack the college completion puzzle, it will be because of innovations like this program.

1 comment:

  1. What's your opinion of Western Governors University? I've heard good things from students, but I'm skeptical of the "competency-based" program.