Thursday, December 06, 2012

J. Marcus’ Letter to sMOOChers re recent reports/analyses re MOOCs (comments, links) HELPFUL PREP FOR FRLV 12/7 2pmET #TLTGfrlv

"The 'Cost Disease' in Higher Education: Is Technology the Answer?" Summary of this Stanford lecture series and other helpful resources included as text or links below.  Provided by Jane Marcus as contribution to and in response to sMOOChers recent activities.
[sMOOChers = Smart Massive Open Online Courses Higher Education Research Subgroup  #tltgSMOOCHERS ]
Pls join "MOOCs Reconsidered" in TLT Group's FridayLive!
2pm ET, Dec 7, 2012.   Free ONLINE reg:   
3rd open discussion with sMOOChers about our shared experience in the MOOC Current/Future State of Higher Educationand our recommendations, insights, concerns based on work with other MOOCs.

Links to resources mentioned in Marcus' Letter (text below)

Jane Marcus' Letter to the sMOOChers*:

I have the great fortune to have spent the majority of my professional career at Stanford as an academic and practitioner studying and supporting the use of technology across all university activities. It is thrilling to be on campus at a time when Stanford scholars and technologists are making significant changes in higher education.

In preparation for the discussions of our own MOOC exploration, I promised TLT’s Steve Gilbert I would work on a summary of the recent Tanner Lecture series at Stanford given by William G. Bowen (President Emeritus, Princeton University and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) entitled "The 'Cost Disease' in Higher Education: Is Technology the Answer?"

The two lectures were each followed by discussions with commentators:

  • Andrew Delbanco (American Studies, Columbia)
  • Howard Gardner (Graduate School of Education, Harvard)
  • John Hennessy (President, Stanford)
  • Daphne Koller (Computer Science, Stanford)
I recommend both the paper upon which Prof. Bowen based his remarks and the Stanford Report’s coverage of the lectures and subsequent discussion:

Lecture 1: The Productivity Problem in Higher Education

Lecture 2: Prospects for an Online Fix: Can we Harness Technology in the Service of our Aspirations?

Below are excerpts from my notes from each session. I hope they will raise some important themes and provide us food for future thought.

A few days after the Tanner series, Stanford’s IT community held its second annual Unconference, a day-long event geared toward building community among Stanford’s IT professionals. The event is sponsored by schools, departments, and administrative units across the University.

The day began with a panel discussion about new developments in educational technology. Moderated by Bill Clebsch, Stanford’s Associate Vice President for IT Services, the panel included:

John Mitchell, Vice Provost for Online Learning, Professor of Computer Science

  • Rob Reich, Director of the Program on Ethics in Society, Associate Professor of Political Science and, by courtesy, of Education and of Philosophy
  • Garth Saloner, Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean at Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Yoav Shoham, Professor of Computer Science
The panelists, all involved in various Stanford learning experiments, offered their takes on many of the issues and concepts addressed in the Tanner series. A summary of their remarks is below as well.

I’m also providing links to articles in both the popular and professional press about MOOCs and learning. I think it’s important for us to see how the evolutionary change that so many of us have been nurturing for decades has now burst forth into the public consciousness as a revolutionary force.

We need to be aware of public opinion as we prepare to ride the “tsunami of online learning” that Stanford President John Hennessy says is coming and to work with our colleagues to ...

  • maintain our values and the quality of education for our own students and those across the globe 
  • control rising costs
  • address competition from for-profit institutions
  • prepare a new generation of faculty
  • perpetuate and honor higher education’s stewardship responsibility.
Finally, I offer two other interesting resources:

• "The Current and Future State of Higher Education"
The sMOOChers were part of the open online course, Current/Future State of Higher Education, conducted in fall 2012, to evaluate the change pressures that face universities and the opportunities that can help universities prepare for the future state of higher education. In this webinar, the presenters harvested the key ideas, insights, and discussion points that came to light in the course of the online course. 

• Education’s Digital Future 
This is a 1-unit course offered by Stanford’s School of Education that brings together students, faculty and professionals from Stanford and its community to study how digital education works and which models work better.

Surf’s up!!!
Jane Marcus, PhD
Stanford IT Services (retired)
Stanford School of Education ‘85

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