Unless there’s an as-yet-undiscovered technological utopia lying in ruins somewhere under the Atlantic, you and I (as global neighbors) live in the most scientifically advanced society that has ever existed on Earth. Yet, think about all the things we don’t know. Of course, there are unanswered metaphysical questions like “is there life after death?” (and for some of us, “is there life before death?”). But let’s stick with the empirical realm. We can’t cure any number of life-threatening diseases or mildly uncomfortable conditions. We can’t unify gravity into our otherwise beautifully symmetrical understanding of the universe. And we’re powerless against the growling creatures living (if you can call it that) in the back of the closet. I can’t be the only one troubled by those at night, I’m sure.
It’s not a poem, just some idle chit chat.
Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!
While the only lazier title would have been “MOOC?”, this article is an interesting note on the MOOC “phenomenon” from a traditional educator’s standpoint, assuming we can even make such a distinction, that is. In other words: “MOOCs: What’s All the Hubbub, Bub?”
You don’t have to like it. Just dislike it over in the corner and be polite. Yes, face the corner. That’s better.
The first Coursera class I participated in fully, the Emory University-sponsored course on AIDS, ended last week. Due to the massive nature of this MOOC-iversity course (tell no one I used that word), our grades were largely determined by the results of five peer-assessed essays. My first essay, which you can see below, is a run-of-the-mill, high-school level masterpiece of regurgitation. The lackluster reviews convinced me to take a more personal tack on essays 3, 4 and 5. I likely went too far with this as the course progressed, but my grades did get better, and comments from my peer reviewers became much more meaningful. I certainly got more out of the last few than the first ones on a personal level, so let this paragraph sum up into a big “thank you” to the anonymous reviewers of my first essay…