MOOCs: a Flash
MOOCs. Just a quick thought that occurred to me in a flash of awareness, to add to the
post I wrote a couple days ago. Let me begin with saying that I don’t dislike Coursera. I think it is very appealing, and I’m going to say why.
First: Coursera-like MOOCs are attractive to lots of people because (1) they are free and (2) because they work in automatic mode, quasi as if there were not an instructor. They can be done without formalities, and their functioning is very simple.
Second: They work on the eternal cycle (1) Lecture (2) Assignments (3) Exams/Quizzes. Wow! progress.
Third: precisely for this reason, they work in a very familiar mode to students everywhere.
Fourth: Thus, they work standalone, with or without teachers. They use AI robots to correct students’ writings, and use peer-based evaluations for the assignments. These courses don’t need teachers.
Fifth: Remember Arthur C. Clarke saying that If A Teacher Can Be Replaced By A Computer, Then He Should.
Sixth: At this point we have no choice but to deduct that MOOCs Coursera-style are propagating (without being aware of this) one truth: education can live and prosper without teachers.
But this is a paradox, right? Yes it is, and it shows with brute force the following message brought to you by our sponsors:
Teachers who work automata-like in the same way as Coursera are doomed. Either we stand up to this task and really, **really** change the way we do education, from classes to admin to edtech, or there won’t b