Think of those who are actually engaged in the task. 


From: Jerome Walsh <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: OT: Coursera

To prepare for such changes, one must keep one's ear to the ground, one's eye on the ball, one's shoulder to the wheel, and one's nose to the grindstone.  Then one has to figure out how to work in that position.

Jerry Walsh, lurker

From: P <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 12:52 PM
Subject: Re: OT: Coursera

Change is a foot when its at hand, so arm yourself and you will get a leg up. Cliches make me suspicious.
P. M.

"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Coursera and other online companies are discussed in the Dec. 1 issue of the Economist (at page 29) in an article challenging traditional universities' spiraling costs relative to the present and future benefits they bestow upon students at all levels of academic performance.

Change is afoot.

Eugene Schlanger

On Dec 3, 2012, at 12:45 PM, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

    I poked around at some of the Coursera links, too, and I'm honestly not sure what they're up to, but my guess is that Coursera is in chrysalis form and will morph into something new (or old) when the time is right. The fact that it began with $16 million in venture capital funds sort of points in that direction.

The discussion of it at the end of article in The Chronicle of Higher Education is interesting.

 Coursera seems to have been able to get numerous more or less high powered universities on board on an experimental basis, in large part, it appears, for marketing. And it is not clear that they mean to remain a non-credit project, which may account for the overprotesting on the Penn certificate (Penn apparently doesn't intend to get into the academic credit granting business with these courses).

 The fact that they have a million or two enrollments is interesting, but it would be more telling to know, for example, how many would-be students have done any work in the courses, and how many have completed. My guess is that those numbers will be respectively a small fraction and a smaller fraction of the enrollees. Which is not necessarily a criticism, as it has always been thus in distance ed.   And the project now seems to be to add as many universities and courses as possible. Perhaps they've found a model to out-Phoenix Phoenix (as in the Univ. of Phoenix).

Ken A

On 12/2/2012 11:58 PM, P wrote:
This is an important discussion. Being an avowed anti-academic, I am all in favour of learning for its own sake. I am happy to accept that in this particular case, it worked well. I'm sure the prof. got academic cred. for it, and the institution could claim its numbers were up. The student hunters now have a super pool of potential fish to fish for other courses.