8 responses

  1. Don Reed
    September 12, 2013

    Correct, a MOOC is just an online class but accessible to a larger audience, no big deal.

    I cringed every time the SJSU President, Provost and Udacity’s Thrun announced that this was innovative pedagogy in front of the media and state politicians, when in fact, it is not (and at no fault of the faculty involved).

    These are basically online classes, except extensively marketed and made available to a larger audience (however, not all of the SJSU courses, listed in the report, were “open”).

    Indeed, the open nature of the content is nothing new.

    A small group of us at SJSU argued in 2002, over a decade ago, that the content of all online courses should be open and freely available to all. One of my colleagues at the time coined the phrase “the learning is free, but you pay for the credits” — long before Udacity.

    Many of us continue to make our content open and available to anyone interested in learning.

  2. Phil Hill
    September 12, 2013

    One issue that is clear is that SJSU could do a much better job learning from those, such as yourself, who have been involved in online learning at SJSU for years.

  3. Don Reed
    September 13, 2013


    There are much bigger questions and issues, ones that are largely being ignored, for example,

    Why did SJSU and Udacity rush to put these courses online before they were fully vetted?

  4. Jeremy Kemp
    September 16, 2013

    While I agree with the sentiment from Dr Reed, it is ironic that he is quoting a department chair who almost singlehandedly destroyed the sterling Educational Technology program at SJSU. Keeping and growing middle management is a huge problem at SJSU. Actually, finding and keeping quality technical staff is likewise nearly impossible with our proximity to Silicon Valley. Boom/bust economics tweaks our hiring process. The university also suffers from a pervasive “cultural cringe” problem; a institutional low self-esteem formed by of our proximity to Stanford and Berkeley. You have to remember that “State” lived the first 2/3rds of its 150-year life in the Valley of Hearts Delight. What our President/Provost have done here departs radically from all previous initiatives. The union likes to deride this as “an experiment.” And yet pre-releasing assessment data to the press violates basic principles that anyone working with the IRB would grasp. I love this university and welcome a new spirit of innovation. I hope to avoid watching a murder by 1000 paper cuts and instead watch the tenured faculty regroup under Junn’s leadership.

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