Just because I can…

(see it super sized)

(see it super sized)

I got to thinking about Morgan Spurlock’s self experiment on fast food after reading the ever rapier like Jonathan Rees Sentence First– verdict afterwards:

What kind of professor “experiments” in front of tens of thousands of students? Gerry Canavan is right ““ one who already knows the results. And the results are, of course, that MOOCs are a resounding success (even if that requires moving the goal posts all the way back to your own ten yard line).

So for what feels like the 67 millionth time: Nobody is trying to take anyone’s MOOCs away. It’s just that some of us simply refuse to assume that MOOCs are by definition successful because they reach more people than traditional education does. Real higher education (as opposed to mere information transferal) depends upon direct contact with the professor. MOOCs may “evolve,” but unless they eschew their essential “MOOC-iness” ““ namely their mechanical, impersonal industrialized nature ““ they’re not going to educate anyone any better. If they do, then they’ll no longer be MOOCs.

My Photoshop funnery is totally standing on the shoulder of Zack Dowell, who saw it coming in December 2012

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Zack Dowell

I’ve yet to see a technology that is able to bottle teaching magic. For now, or until such time as legislators change the law in the interest of efficiency, I hold on to the hope that this “regular effective contact” will accompany and keep honest any attempt to create drive-through solutions for undergraduate bottleneck course problems.

If that McDegree comes with a fun meal badge, would you like that here or to go?

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. “If that McDegree comes with a fun meal badge, would you like that here or to go?”

    I think those Happy Meal Toys have been very successful at selling Happy Meals to kids. With all the wonderful movie and TV tie-ins, they make the Happy Meal fun-time all that more palatable, regardless of the fact that it develops a bit of a predisposition to eating pre-fabricated chicken bits.

    Maybe the McMOOC idea was before its time, and is perhaps only now threatening to fulfil its potential as the New Metaphor for Processing Children towards Adultness.

    Does it come with fries? Gravy on the side an option? And, asking a more germane and appropriate question for the time, do they have good WiFi in the Coffee Bar?

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