The role of personality in education

Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, Jul 16, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Martin Weller wrote this about a week ago and as of now it has 54 comments, suggesting he has struck a nerve. There has been "a long tradition of removing the personal from teaching material," he writes, but "then along come MOOCs, and they’re all about the personality." cMOOCS, in particular, ", have a very strong cult of personality driving them." Kate Bowles responds, "too much creative personality, too much popularity, introduces a kind of cultishness to learning that we really have been trying to move beyond." And she (interestingly) cites Pat Lockley in observing that "online students give instructors higher marks of they think instructors are men." Frances Bell argues, "For me, this focus on the personality of the leader/ inventor figure can hamper inventiveness and experimentation by freezing agency in a single personality." Who could imagine someone suggesting that Jim Groom's ds106 course resembles a cult!

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