Anant Agarwal: Why massive open online courses (still) matter

Anant Agarwal, Feb 01, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This TED talk was referred to me by email and I viewed it on Saturday. "Through blended courses Anant Agarwal is pairing online education with face-to-face student-faculty interactions, reshaping the university campus experience." As I've stated before, my first experience with this sort of learning was in 1986 studying philosophy of mind with John A. Baker at the University of Calgary. The key isn't that it's active or self-paced or any other other things he says. The key is that it's open and online - exactly what his in-person MIT blended learning classes are not. But hey, like the commenter Velvet Page says, "this university professor seems to imagine that he created the ideas that drive his online classroom... I'd be interested to know if he's read much about elementary educational trends over the last twenty years, and if he has, why he failed to credit them." But that's TED. The community does nothing. Individual MIT professors having an epiphany - that's everything!

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