It’s MOOAs, Not MOOCs, That Will Transform Higher Education

Laurie Essig, The Creative Classroom, Mar 26, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The article is tongue-in-cheek and meant as a reductio, but let's analyze the implications. In the Chronicle (where else?) Laurie Essig writes, "MOOAs are the perfect solution to the rising cost of higher education. We take superstar administrators and let them administer tens, maybe even hundreds, of thousands of faculty at a time. The Ivy League and Nescac colleges could pool their upper management as could, say, Midwestern state colleges." OK, fine, completely unreasonable, right? Leaving aside the Lee Iacocca phenomenon, how could a single administrator manage thousands of staff? Just as in a MOOC: they would have to stop micro-managing, empower staff to make their own decisions, and create a distributed mode of administration. One wonders whether this form of management wouldn't be better for staff than existing management.

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