Roundtable formed to discuss the possibility to fund MOOC classes
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 01:09
University President Dana Gibson, Ph.D., hosted a roundtable to discuss and receive feedback on whether or not the university should fund Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s).
Gibson coordinated a forum with various professors to get input to take to the Coordinating Boards’ Formula Funding Committee, which she is a part of, for their next discussion. One of their next topics in the meeting is whether the university should fund MOOC’s, or large online classes offered for free with no course credit.
MOOC’s are open to anyone with computer access and are for no credit, according to Gibson. They are provided by higher education institutions that often partner with websites that provide online classes such as Coursera, edX and Udacity, Gibson said. The colleges that mostly offer it are NYU, the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon.
Hannah Gerber, associate professor of language, literacy and special populations, said that it depends on how the professors use the course. She saw it as a way to expand who her students encounter. Her online classes use Twitter to talk about what they are learning and encounter experts in that field.
“I think it depends on how we use it; if it is a game changer, a disrupter force, or a fad. I don’t think we can necessarily pigeonhole it right now as either,” Gerber said. “As a professor and a scholar I have been invited to guest lecture and there was researcher from Stanford, Andrew Ng. It put my work out in a platform that I don’t I would have encountered in another form.”
Debra Price, professor of education, said that a professor at a smaller regional institution forced his students to take MOOC classes from a larger institution. He helped them on their extra questions and graded them.
“I worry that an institution could become a grader or the credit giver for another institution… and where does that put that institution,” Price said.
Price also talked about her fear that people will see MOOC’s as a way to bring in money for the rest of academics.
“That is what worries me,” Price said. “When they start acting like MOOC’s are what is going to save education.”
Gerber and mass communication chair Jean Bodon both said they are currently working on the development of an MOOC. Gerber is working on the new technologies in the classroom.
“Some of the videos have already been filmed,” Gerber said. “We are just waiting on roll out platform.”
Bodon is going to start one with a guest speaker
“We are going to start one with John McLaughlin, writer of Black Swan to teach screenwriting,” Bodon said.
McLaughlin has taught a scriptwriting class at SHSU and spoke to students previously as a guest speaker.