An Open Letter on MOOCs and Social Justice

I try to confine my MOOC commentary to Twitter and Facebook, but this seemed important enough to break radio silence. The philosophy department at San Jose State University has written an open letter to one of their peers at Harvard, Michael Sandel, about his MOOC on social justice. The letter outlines the faculty’s objections to MOOCsContinue reading “An Open Letter on MOOCs and Social Justice”

In Defense of the Liberal Arts

I’ve previously written about the value of a liberal arts degree, and I’ve highlighted some of the ways in which the traditional classroom experience is superior to online courses, particularly MOOCs. Tom Hilpert’s request for academics to make their case for why the liberal arts degree is important in the face of the challenge presented byContinue reading “In Defense of the Liberal Arts”

An Outsider Looks at MOOCs

My friend Tom Hilpert sent me the following thoughts on MOOCs and gave me permission to post them. I’ll respond on Thursday. Dr. Mark Cheathem, a friend of mine who happens to be a college professor, often post links to articles critical of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). At various points in my life, IContinue reading “An Outsider Looks at MOOCs”

Conservatives’ Criticism of History in the Classroom

There’s been quite a bit of discussion recently about the findings of the National Association of Scholars (NAS) regarding history instruction in the college classroom. Historians such as Ann M. Little (Historiann) and Jeremi Suri have rightly taken the NAS to task for its nonsensical methodology and conclusions.* Nevertheless, the American Conservative, which supports the NAS’sContinue reading “Conservatives’ Criticism of History in the Classroom”

The Working Class and Higher Education, Pt. 2

Part 1 is here. Just as I took my time with my first stab at this topic, I’ve been putting off writing a second post. An IHE article on mid-tier doctoral programs prompted me to the keyboard again. Dean Dad starts with this question, “Why do people continue to apply to, and attend, nothing-special doctoral programs inContinue reading “The Working Class and Higher Education, Pt. 2”

MOOCs and the History Classroom

One of my favorite bloggers, Jonathan Rees, has been hammering the MOOC (massive open online course) that he enrolled in. Led by Princeton University history professor Jeremy Adelman, the MOOC is offered by Coursera, one of the leading companies pushing for free courses that are open to anyone. Rees is an outspoken critic of onlineContinue reading “MOOCs and the History Classroom”

The Working Class and Higher Education, Pt. 1

An article earlier this year in the Chronicle, “Should Working-Class People Get B.A.’s and Ph.D.’s?” struck a nerve with me.  Such a nerve, in fact, that six months later, I’m finally finishing the post I started about it. The article co-authors, Briallen Hopper and Johanna Hopper, are sisters who took different career paths from theirContinue reading “The Working Class and Higher Education, Pt. 1”