MOOCs, History and Context

Arthur Levine, Ignatia Webs, Apr 29, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a bit of an odd article, describing as it does the history of post-secondary education in an America-centric and sonetimes inconsistent manner. The term "Democracy's College", for example, is a parochialism that misrepresents both college and democracy. The article, as one commenter notes, depicts several centuries of history where institutions adapted to change, but then argues (on the basis of nothing) that change will come from outside the institution. There's a weird social Darwinism vide through out. MOOCs will be forgotten in history, but when we look back, "like Western Governors University, Coursera, and Udacity leap to mind." And causation is often reversed: for example, the author writes "These institutions will operate globally, not locally, which will dictate a digital format," when in fact, it is the "digital format" that enables universities to operate globally.

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