When MOOCs melt down

Robert Talbert, European Schoolnet, Feb 20, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

In the news this week is the story of a professor who quit his own MOOC half way through. The Chronicle provides one side of the story - "the problem had stemmed from Mr. McKenzie’s reluctance to loosen his grip on students who he thought were not learning well in the course" - but we read from these tweets quite a different perspective: "What he didn't like most was the students who WERE informed, but were fighting back on his rigorous rational economics model. He didn't like criticism from those knowledgeable at economics. And the text that was not free was HIS!" (Tweets combined and edited for spelling.) This is being depicted as a failure for Coursera, but I see it as a victory - one wonders what has been happening in Richard A. McKenzie's classroom over the years, with what appears to be a dysfunctional teaching style operating obscured from scrutiny. More links: here's the course, Microeconomics for Managers. Here is Mackenzie's video course and his YouTube channel. Coveage of the incident from the L.A. Times, GigaOM,

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