News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Education


MOOCS and the future of technology in higher hducation
Ohio State University recently signed on to give some MOOCS of their own
by WKSU's IDA LIESZKOVSZKY


Reporter
Ida Lieszkovszky
 

On-line education is nothing new for colleges and universities. It’s been a way for colleges to open their campuses and generate revenue. But over the past 12 months more and more colleges have started to open up their on-line offerings to anyone, and for nothing – no charge. StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky has this story about what many are calling the year of the MOOC (Mook).

Lieszkovszky on MOOC

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:27)


MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.

“I hate the acronym actually so you can quote me on that one.”

Wayne Carlson is the Dean of Students at Ohio State University. And although he’s not a fan of the acronym, he is pretty excited about the technology. MOOC basically refers to classes that are put online, available to anyone in the world. They don’t count for credit, but they are free.

Ohio State just teamed up with Coursera, a tech company that is one of the biggest MOOC providers, an effort headed by Carlson.

“MOOC and the emerging technology are really transformational. They have the ability to really disrupt the way we do our business. And as a business, if we don’t pay attention to those disruptive processes we’re going to lose in the long run.”

Disruptive because many in the higher ed community worry that unless they’re careful, universities will go the way of newspapers and the music industry: give their product away for free online and lose customers in the process.

“There really is no business model present in these MOOC’s yet because nobody is charging anything. There is no revenue to split.”

While the content and lectures are traditional, the learning process is not. 

Sometimes MOOC courses give tests, but often there is no assessment of what a student learns. Often tens of thousands of students start a course, but many don’t finish.

At COSI, the science museum in Columbus, OSU Pharmacy professor Nicole Kwiek is worried about all that big picture stuff, but she’s more nervous about gearing up to teach her own massive open online course next summer.

“I’m excited to see and adapt my content knowledge to this huge audience and people who have never been able to take a pharmacology class in their lives or may not see the potential of science in their own lives or why it’s important now may see an application on why it’s important and say ‘huh, now I understand.’”

Kweik works in the Generation Rx lab at COSI, which teaches visitors about the potential dangers of prescription drugs. Her class will be about the same thing.

 “…we have an experiment where they have to figure out what gave Bobby heart burn…”

Kweik’s class won’t start for another 7 months, but she’s already getting emails from potential students as far away as New Zealand and Arizona.

But using technology in college classrooms is nothing new.

Back on the Ohio State campus, chemistry professor Matthew Stoltzfus, aka Dr. Fus (FOOS) is quizzing his students on last night’s lecture.

Stolzfus has been using what’s called the inverted classroom model for a couple years now. Inverted classes are ones in which students watch lectures at home, and do homework in class. Stolzfus posts his lectures online, and spends classroom time answering questions and helping students workout problems.

Freshman Adam Bross admits he doesn’t watch every lecture.

“Not all of them. But a good amount. It’s hard to find time and willpower and watch every single one. Like earlier in the year I watched less, now I try to watch more now that I don’t know it.”

Stoltzfus knows that, but it doesn’t bother him.

“Everybody thinks videos are going to ruin education. Well I would point across the street here to the chemistry library across the street, we have book on books on books on all of these chemistry topics. The content was out there before; we’re just putting it in a different format.”

Dartmouth professor and higher ed blogger Joshua Kim has been monitoring the MOOC movement for a while.

He says MOOC’s have a lot of promise, but he’s full of reservations.

“I do not think that MOOC’s will be the solution to the very real issues and problems of rising costs, unequal quality and limited access to higher education. MOOC’s might be part of the solution but they are not the solution. So I worry that they are being overhyped and oversold.”

MOOC’s sound great. But even its biggest cheerleaders have concerns.

Here’s Wayne Carlson of Ohio State again.

“It’s a very utopian world where you want knowledge for knowledge sake.”

But the problem with utopian ideas?

“They don’t scale to the real world.”

Employers want to see how you did in that course, universities want to make money, students want to get credit for the classes they take, and professors don’t want to see their jobs outsourced to computers.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

Cleveland Indians to continue with 'dynamic pricing'
pricing is too high for a family as well as people like me who are on a fixed income. Bleacher seats are cheaper but concessions are rediculous.

Kasich talks about faith, drugs and education -- but never FitzGerald
The idea that you can learn more by talking to a 90 year old person than from a history book is just another example of how the GOP hates education and knowledg...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University