ERIC Number: EJ1003438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-29
Let's Make 2013 the Year of the Seminar
Porterfield, Daniel R.
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr 2013
The past year has seen the meteoric rise of the MOOC, or massive open online course, which lets 100,000 strangers--or more--log on to free classes branded "Stanford" or "Harvard." "The New York Times" went so far as to call 2012 the "Year of the MOOC." Amid the cacophony of voices calling for colleges to cut costs and reduce student debt, many of the staff who work in higher education find themselves playing defense on an issue they don't yet know enough about. The author believes higher education staff have a collective responsibility to challenge the notion that MOOCs are the future of American higher education. If educators really want to make a difference for most students, let's make 2013 "The Year of the Seminar." The author is all for making taped lectures, academic chat rooms, and technical training available online, as well as offering Web-based information to learners in the developing world who are fortunate enough to have broadband access. MOOCs can do those things well. But when one looks at how seminars shape and sharpen the mind, it becomes clear that American students need more small, rigorous classes--lots more.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Seminars, College Instruction, Small Group Instruction, Thinking Skills, Teacher Role, College Faculty, Student Experience, Online Courses, Large Group Instruction, Educational Trends, Futures (of Society)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A