Online Learning Update

February 26, 2013

Where Credit Is Due: Whose MOOC Is It?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Derek Bruff,  Agile Learning

Amy Collier, who supports online learning initiatives at Stanford, pointed out to me during the MROE workshop that an awful lot of people, including me, refer to these MOOCs as “Coursera courses” and not, say, “Georgia Tech courses” or “Vanderbilt courses.” I’ve used “Coursera course” as a shorthand to refer to the open online courses that Vanderbilt on the Coursera platform, but, thanks to Amy, I’m coming to see that such language is perhaps misleading. I blogged earlier this month about the challenging design and production process required to launch one of these courses, a process undertaken largely by Vanderbilt faculty, students, and staff. Sure, Coursera assists with the course preparation and provides an online platform for the courses, but the heavy lifting is done by Vanderbilt. It’s also Vanderbilt that is responsible for setting the bar when it comes to the academic quality and rigor of these courses. We decide the content, design the assessments, and determine what merits a “Statement of Accomplishment.” If I’m going to use shorthand for “Vanderbilt open online courses on the Coursera platform,” perhaps “Vanderbilt course” is more accurate…. If universities are going to have responsibility for their open online courses, that means universities will have to take the blame when they fail.

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