Of MOOCs and Men

Akiba Covitz, Inside Higher Ed, Oct 12, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Leaving aside the question of whether MOOCs work as educational delivery systems, the more interesting question is this: "Can MOOCs transform students as people?" Teachers can actually see this transformation in their physical classrooms, writes Akiba Covitz. What about online? The typical chat room is "a technology solution that comes from the basic human need to connect and from the basic human quality of empathy—all things that MOOC learners, and perhaps all students, want," writes Covitz. And "The students do not perceive these taped professors as fully human or at least as fully present." Maybe these are serious issues. In the end, though, the article comes sounding like a shill for "Shindig and its video chat sistren."

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