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The Higher Education Crisis by Nicholas Carr - Article Example

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 This article " The Higher Education Crisis by Nicholas Carr" discusses describes the growing popularity and advantages of the MOOC, massive open online courses. Some of the nation’s top universities, including Stanford, Harvard, and MIT have begun offering free online courses…
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The Higher Education Crisis by Nicholas Carr
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Download file to see previous pages Carr is making the argument that the rise of the MOOC and its substantial international demand has opportunities for improving the quality of education for students around the world. Why is this? When the author compares the online courses available through paid tuition, he suggests that it has become a rather homogenous and boring model consisting of videotaped lectures, thus providing little innovation in the learning process. Hence, Carr describes several case studies in which reputable instructors, such as Sebastian Thrun, a robotics teacher from Stanford, are launching free online courses to expand higher education to the less advantaged. While it was expected that a free artificial intelligence class online would receive interest from, potentially, 10,000 students, in reality, the class received over 160,000 interested learners. This massive interest from adult learners prompted Thrun to partner with two other robotics experts to launch a new start-up online learning company, Udacity, in order to attempt to revamp the online educational process and improve its quality. As Carr attempted to illustrate that educational quality had been depleted in recent years, the concept of inspired start-up learning centers allows innovative educators to create new online learning models that are aligned with unique concepts and instructional materials. Laura Pappano of the New York Times describes some of the business model of Udacity, the online company started by Thrun where selecting the appropriate instructors involves a very discriminating set of criteria. Offered a representative of Udacity, “We reject about 98 percent of faculty who want to teach with us” (Pappano 4). This tends to support Carr’s notion in “The Crisis in Higher Education” as the MOOC concept seems to break the restrictions associated with university and college bureaucracy and liberates instructors from using a standardized online teaching curriculum and, instead, developing more relevant and pioneering instructional tools and lessons for the MOOC teaching model. The concept of Udacity is that even though instructors might be renowned in their field, they are not always the best educators to provide a quality educational experience. With a more stringent set of criteria for hiring educators in the MOOC, this new concept in learning (enhanced with no-fee learning) could significantly outperform traditional campus-based learning and the for-fee online class experience.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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