Also from Yesterday’s MOOC Panel
Gregory Jay, “MOOCs: A Cautionary Note.”
“Ironically,” writes Greg Graham,“although the move toward online education is being advanced by some of the nation’s most elite universities, in the end it will be the lower half of the student population that will be forced out of the traditional classroom, widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots” (Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1, 2012). I would argue that UWM should put its money on educational opportunities that connect students to our campus, rather than on those that increase the distance. As Scott Carlson argues, the inhabitation of place still counts enormously in higher education outcomes (Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 4, 2013)2. If students can get a good deal of information online from other universities, they will, unless we offer them a campus experience that they can’t get on the internet—including the conversations in the dorm and coffee shop, meetings atthe student union, chance encounters at the gym, as well as in class or in the professor’s office, and with a diverse range of human beings whose three-dimensional humanity requires our intellectual and ethical attention. Our enrollments increased throughout the 1990s and 2000s when word got out that UWM was a fine school that had a terrific location in an exciting, multicultural urban area where extracurricular learning and work opportunities enriched course and curriculum offerings. We can’t compete with Stanford’s MOOCs, but Stanford’s MOOCs can’t compete with what our setting provides to our on-campus students.