A lot of the courses at Udemy are how-to and technical courses that teach students how to program in Python, create games for the iPad, and so on. Soltan's course is on interpreting poetry, and since she analyzes a lot of poetry at University Diaries, this is a natural extension.
I keep seeing that the MOOC is the future of the university, if there IS a future for the university.
The New York Times tells me so, and who am I to argue with the New York Times?
Still, I'm curious:
- If you hate the idea of PowerPoint or technology in the classroom and also hate online courses, why would you participate in this?
- Is Udemy and its system of MOOCs something Soltan sees as a way to counter for-profit online education?
- Do the "best Professors from the world's leading Universities" (tm) get paid for participating in these, and do they have any responsibilities beyond recording lectures?
- Assessment right now is by computer-graded tests, and discussions are held in forums; the idea, according to the New York Times, is to get everyone to an "A+" level. How might this work in the humanities?
- When might Udemy decide that Udemy graduates or badgeholders who've taken a MOOC course would be "the best Professors from the world's leading Universities" and worthy to record courses, since the MOOC courses will not bear the name or logo of the university from which the current "best Professors" hail?
- Or are we in a beehive situation, where a select few prerecord wisdom for the MOOC worker bees and the bees can't hope to move from wisdom-ingesting to wisdom-dispensing?
Updated to add: Margaret Soltan graciously answers all these questions and more over at Inside Higher Ed: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-diaries/mooc-synthesizer-iii#dsq-form-area