Techno-News Blog

July 13, 2015

Are small, private online courses the future of higher education in America?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:14 am

by James Poulos, the Week

A wellspring of fresh faith has surged up around so-called SPOCs. Small and Private, not Massive and Open, SPOCs are boasting better completion rates and better vibes than their highly scalable predecessors. Garlock posits a developing consensus: “[B]y using technology to combine the centuries-old lessons of campus education with the best promises of massive learning, SPOCs may be the most relevant and promisingly disruptive experiments the MOOC boom has yet produced.” So long as the SPOC model is restricted to accredited universities, however, its impact is likely to be limited in at least one important way. Even if, as Garlock suggests, it “enables deep engagement through intense Socratic discussions” in a way that far surpasses what MOOCs can achieve, it’s still beholden to the formal and informal rules of academic officialdom — where shifting, often shadowy moral and bureaucratic strictures have made the pursuit of wisdom in the classroom prohibitively difficult and risky.

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