In Times Higher Education, on MOOCs

by VanessaVaile

A Bryan Alexander post would normally go straight to MOOC Madness, but this KEY paragraph puts it smack dab in Adjunctiverse territory. Too much I suppose to hope that the CFHE’s MOOC “researchers” would notice it:

“MOOCs and adjuncts: in the Times piece I brood about institutions using MOOCs to increase the casualization of academic labor, i.e., replacing tenure-track faculty with a combination of imported class content via MOOC and local instructional support by adjuncts. I’m glad to see academics discussing this topic, but am not entirely happy. After all, academia made adjuncts the mainstream instructional force before MOOCs took off. Where were these critics then?”

Also not without coincidence, HE labor organizations are finally seem to be paying attention to adjuncts, even courting them with fervor.

Bryan Alexander

Times Higher EducationThe London Times interviews me and the cMOOC founders about the state of MOOCs.

There are some important points in the article.  George Siemens criticizes not only xMOOCs’ lack of experimentation, but their lack of currency: “the pedagogy employed by the major providers is “several decades behind” what is needed.”

Stephen Downes slams the resistance to interactivity:

“Moocs as they were originally conceived…were the locus of learning activities and interaction, but as deployed by commercial providers they resemble television shows or digital textbooks with – at best – an online quiz component…”

These are imporant points, which campus leaders and politicians need to heed.

Let me add some more thoughts.

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