The Higher-Education Lobby Comes to Madison

Sara Goldrick-Rab, The Creative Classroom, Feb 26, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm not sure whether 'the higher education lobby' refers to the author of this article, or the speaker being commented upon. Not a good start. Sara Goldrick-Rab posts a 'conversation' where she restates the case for MOOCs advanced by Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council of Education (ACE), and then criticizes it. The case is the usual: economic pressurs are making a traditional education harder to obtain, at a time when it's needed more than ever. And concerns about quality can be addressed by organizations like ACE. Goldrick-Rab responds, "the picture Broad painted was not so much of higher education at a 'crossroads,' but rather a disturbing vision of colleges and universities frantically trying to pull up the drawbridge and create a new moat for their protection." Maybe, maybe not, but that's not the case for MOOCs. The case is the urgent need to extend education, and especially advanced education, to a much broader segment of society.

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