MOOCs And Privacy, German Fears About Online Student Data

Hannes Grassegger, Johannes Boie, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Dec 13, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a retelling of the dispute between mathaematics professor Paul-Olivier Dehaye and Coursera. Dehaye, you may recall, is the instructor who pulled all his materials from Coursera mid-course. This telling of the story is a lot friendlier to Dehaye. It talks about the opacity of Coursera's contracts and the possibility they are using student data for non-course purposes. It describes his aim of the course was actually to stand as a model for the freedom of teaching." According to the article, Dehaye "ordered the entirety of the course data to be released to him at the beginning of his course in June to use it for research and teaching purposes, but the request was refused." Then, "In a spontaneous act, Dehaye ordered his students to leave Coursera and he himself deleted all course materials." Cousera, as we know, shut him out of the course and blocked all further communication with his students. The original German version of the article is here; this is the translation in Worldcrunch.

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