Learners Are People, Not Isolated Test-Taking Brains: Why MOOCs Both Work….And Fail…And Why Playing with Others Is No Frivolous Distraction
MOOCs—Massive Open Online Courses—are not the same thing as the enormously popular interactive games titled Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). Nor are they the same thing as going to college. And this matters.
I have been thinking a lot lately about money and grades. Not for the reasons you may think: that I want more and better of both (or to “give” tough grades). But because they share interesting qualities. My thinking is analytical rather than greedy.
I teach anthropology at Notre Dame. I have written a book about truth and deception. I have written a different book about college. As an anthropologist I am interested in not only what humans do but what we think about what we do. Humans are fascinating. I am glad to have a front-row seat to our species.
So I need to weigh in on the story of football player Manti Te’o and his fake dead girlfriend, as revealed last week by Deadspin.
But I can’t figure out what kind of story this is.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, my college-student daughter started singing. She knew, and claimed that her friends knew, hundreds of songs. My father, a pediatrician, asked what he thought was a rhetorical question, “Why do kids know the words to every song but they can’t memorize something for a test that will get them a higher grade?”
President Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected in a landslide.
We progressives who donated time and money to ensure that this happened have a right to be pleased.
But now it is time for loyal critics to speak up. And one area that must be attended to is education—at all levels. That unmentionable education radical Bill Ayers—someone Obama once knew but had to repudiate—wrote a letter to Arne Duncan explaining clearly what is wrong with the current system, but it does not quite go far enough.