I generally feel comfortable leaving the deconstruction of the menace that MOOCs pose to high education to Jonathan Rees over at More or Less Bunk. Everybody should be reading this blog. He is, simply, nailing the multiple issues that MOOCs raise, from the exploitation of labor to the intellectual incoherence of them.  His relentlessness and good sense on the issue brings to mind (albeit focused on other contexts) Glenn Greenwald. We need more of this kind of relentlessness.

And yes, I did just use the word "albeit". It's ok.

So, since it is being done so well elsewhere, I'm actually not here to whale on MOOCs, just to note a kind of amusing state which illustrates much.

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has a story describing how the California State University system is beginning to destroy itself by expanding its use  of MOOCs. 

"San Jose State last fall used material from an edX course, “Circuits & Electronics,” as part of a “flipped classroom” experiment in its own introductory course in electrical engineering. The university offered three versions of the course: two conventional face-to-face sections and one “blended” section, in which students watched edX videos on their own and then participated in group activities, sans lecturing, during class time.

The pass rates in the two conventional sections were 55 percent and 59 percent. In the “flipped” section with the edX videos, 91 percent of students passed."

These seem like Great Leap Forward style passage rates.  Any chance these stats speak to other factors involved, just possibly?


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