Labor Model Where Everybody Works for Free Has Potential to Totally Transform Higher Education
One of the challenges of “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, is managing their sheer size, and encouraging thousands of students to engage each other, since they cannot all converse with the professor. Tapping into a deep pool of alumni offers at least a partial way around that problem, one that a few schools have discussed trying.
Claudia Filos, editor of content and social media for the course, said that in some MOOCs, discussions “tend to run off the rails.” The hope for the Greek heroes class is to have enough people monitoring — asking pointed questions, highlighting smart comments — to prevent that from happening.
About 10 of Dr. Nagy’s former teaching fellows in the class will direct discussions, with help from a larger, still-undetermined number of former students. Both groups will work unpaid; the e-mail to alumni said the work would require three to five hours a week.