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Comparison Thesis

In: Other Topics

Submitted By Mirmen
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Response to Friedman
It would seem academia's view of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is split. There are some that would like to believe MOOCs are the next revolution in education. One such person is Thomas Friedman, an author and columnist for the New York Times. Friedman has high expectations of MOOCs and states, "I can see a day soon where you'll create your own college degree by taking the best online courses from the best professors from around the world."1 On the other hand Karen Head, an assistant professor for Georgia Institute of Technology, initially wanted nothing to do with them. She stated, "I wondered how anyone could possibly teach writing in a massive open online course--a question that many of my colleagues are still asking."3
Friedman posits that innovation will come because of demand from the market, parents, students and even the federal government.2 Karen is part of that innovation not only as a professor but as a planner in the program. Her experience in preparing the MOOC for Georgia Tech will certainly challenge Friedman's idea of cheap. Perhaps if Friedman expanded on the idea of initial cost vs. maintenance cost of a MOOC it wouldn't appear cheap in the short term. In this case of start-up costs for a university it would have to be seen as an investment. In the long term gains would be seen, provided their program is a successful one. In the end Friedman holds on to his idea of a revolutionary new way to educate the world. For Karen, she prefers engaging her students in a traditional course, but can "see the potential for MOOCs to provide certain supplemental content for my traditional classes."3 In either case the MOOC is here to...

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