Rushkoff calls for MOOCs to leave humanity in learning

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Dive Summary:

  • Media theorist and author Douglas Rushkoff writes for CNN on the emergence of massive open online courses (MOOCs), calling for the preservation of human interaction in academic instruction.
  • Rushkoff writes that MOOCs shouldn't serve the same role that a college education does, just as four years of high school does deliver the same results as a GED obtained after online-only study.
  • He argues that subjects are best taught in native environments and online lectures shouldn't require instructors to become more robotic in their communication, and thus that MOOCs introduce obstacles to effective teaching where interaction and responsive communication are concerned.

From the article:

"... Online learning needs to cater to human users. A real instructor should not simply dump data on a person, as in a scripted video, but engage with students, consider their responses and offer individualized challenges.

The good, living teacher probes the way students think and offers counterexamples that open pathways. With the benefit of a perfect memory of student's past responses, a computer lesson should also be able to identify some of these patterns and offer up novel challenges at the right time. 'How might Marx have responded to that suggestion, Joe?' ..."

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