MOOCs and Their Afterlives: Experiments in Scale and Access in Higher Education

University of Chicago Press
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A trio of headlines in the Chronicle of Higher Education seem to say it all: in 2013, “A Bold Move Toward MOOCs Sends Shock Waves;” in 2014, “Doubts About MOOCs Continue to Rise,” and in 2015, “The MOOC Hype Fades.” At the beginning of the 2010s, MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, seemed poised to completely revolutionize higher education. But now, just a few years into the revolution, educators’ enthusiasm seems to have cooled. As advocates and critics try to make sense of the rise and fall of these courses, both groups are united by one question: Where do we go from here?

Elizabeth Losh has gathered experts from across disciplines—education, rhetoric, philosophy, literary studies, history, computer science, and journalism—to tease out lessons and chart a course into the future of open, online education. Instructors talk about what worked and what didn’t. Students share their experiences as participants. And scholars consider the ethics of this education. The collection goes beyond MOOCs to cover variants such as hybrid or blended courses, SPOCs (Small Personalized Online Courses), and DOCCs (Distributed Open Collaborative Course). Together, these essays provide a unique, even-handed look at the MOOC movement and will serve as a thoughtful guide to those shaping the next steps for open education.
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About the author

Elizabeth Losh is associate professor of English and American studies at William and Mary. She is the is the author of Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes and The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University , as well as coauthor of Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Aug 17, 2017
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780226469591
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Social Aspects / General
Education / General
Education / Higher
Education / Non-Formal Education
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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An examination of technology-based education initiatives—from MOOCs to virtual worlds—that argues against treating education as a product rather than a process.

Behind the lectern stands the professor, deploying course management systems, online quizzes, wireless clickers, PowerPoint slides, podcasts, and plagiarism-detection software. In the seats are the students, armed with smartphones, laptops, tablets, music players, and social networking. Although these two forces seem poised to do battle with each other, they are really both taking part in a war on learning itself. In this book, Elizabeth Losh examines current efforts to “reform” higher education by applying technological solutions to problems in teaching and learning. She finds that many of these initiatives fail because they treat education as a product rather than a process. Highly touted schemes—video games for the classroom, for example, or the distribution of iPads—let students down because they promote consumption rather than intellectual development.

Losh analyzes recent trends in postsecondary education and the rhetoric around them, often drawing on first-person accounts. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs (massive open online courses), the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures (from Randy Pausch to “the Baked Professor”), and educational virtual worlds. Finally, Losh outlines six basic principles of digital learning and describes several successful university-based initiatives. Her book will be essential reading for campus decision makers—and for anyone who cares about education and technology.

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An examination of technology-based education initiatives—from MOOCs to virtual worlds—that argues against treating education as a product rather than a process.

Behind the lectern stands the professor, deploying course management systems, online quizzes, wireless clickers, PowerPoint slides, podcasts, and plagiarism-detection software. In the seats are the students, armed with smartphones, laptops, tablets, music players, and social networking. Although these two forces seem poised to do battle with each other, they are really both taking part in a war on learning itself. In this book, Elizabeth Losh examines current efforts to “reform” higher education by applying technological solutions to problems in teaching and learning. She finds that many of these initiatives fail because they treat education as a product rather than a process. Highly touted schemes—video games for the classroom, for example, or the distribution of iPads—let students down because they promote consumption rather than intellectual development.

Losh analyzes recent trends in postsecondary education and the rhetoric around them, often drawing on first-person accounts. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs (massive open online courses), the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures (from Randy Pausch to “the Baked Professor”), and educational virtual worlds. Finally, Losh outlines six basic principles of digital learning and describes several successful university-based initiatives. Her book will be essential reading for campus decision makers—and for anyone who cares about education and technology.

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