Why MOOCs matter
Amid all the hoo-har about MOOCs and the will-they won’t-they debate over their impact on university business models, a piece by Tom Friedman caught my eye the other day on the rise of the ‘celebrity professor’. The stimulus for the Friedman article was a conference he attended last week hosted by Harvard University and MIT where academics and administrators from these two elite US universities discussed the rise of online courses and the ramifications for residential colleges and universities. One outcome, as Inside Higher Ed reports, is that MOOCs are certainly prompting some faculty to pay more attention to their teaching styles than they ever have before.
Friedman notes that not every academic is likely to generate a rock-star following following their entry into MOOCdom, but he issues a grave warning to the rest us mere mortal when he states: