The coming Calculus MOOC Revolution and the end of math research

Cathy O'Neil, Virtual Learning, Jan 21, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I've always been sympathetic to the idea that teaching and research are closely linked. Certainly I feel it in my own work, where my research would be nothing like what it is without the occasional MOOC and regular bouts of conference talks, newsletter updates and screeds written on my blog. But do MOOCs really mean the end of research? "Calculus MOOCs and other web tools are going to start replacing calculus teaching very soon and at a large scale," writes , and "we see is that math research, which we’ve basically been getting for free all this time, as a byproduct of calculus, will be severely curtailed." So how do we fix that? We could ask the recipients of math research to pay for it directly... but the people who benefit usually live a generation or two later, too late to do project approval and program planning.

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