The Nose in the Tent
Legislation will be introduced in the California Senate on Wednesday that could reshape higher education by requiring the state’s public colleges and universities to give credit for faculty-approved online courses taken by students unable to register for oversubscribed classes on campus. We talked about this very thing at our MOOC roundtable yesterday, which really became a “flexible online degrees” roundtable as it went on:
Under the legislation, some of the eligible courses would likely be free “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, like those offered by providers like Coursera, Udacity and edX; others might come from companies like Straighterline, which offers low-price online courses, or Pearson, the educational publishing and testing company.
“What that is doing is taking control away from campuses to control their curriculum. That is giving control over their curriculum to whoever they happen to accredit,” said Aaron Bady, a doctoral candidate in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley who wrote a widely read anti-MOOC essay. “If that course has to be accepted, that’s a centralized control of state curriculum.”
Elite schools promoting their brand through free courses is one thing; "flexible online degrees" is quite another. We need to focus on that.—
Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) March 13, 2013