Friday, September 20, 2013

Kiki Hui: the MOOCment

A common topic asked in our discussions with people these past few weeks has been about the threat of online educational courses, or MOOCs (massive open online courses), to the university as a valid institution. When we met with Dean Saloner of the GSB, he mentioned that the business school would be joining the MOOC train with their first online class about pensions.

I found an article from Business Week announcing this news the same day we met with Saloner, which is pretty cool. By talking to these people, we learn all the new information before the rest of the public does!

But anyways, an administrator of the GSB is quoted saying that the course will help the school "raise awareness about where we are and what we're doing." It sounds like a publicity stunt when he puts it that way.

I first heard about MOOCs in my PWR class, the Rhetoric of Silicon Valley, in spring quarter. I don't know why I had not heard of them before, but now it seems like they are all that I hear about and for good reason. They have the potential to completely alter our view of higher education.

However, I appreciated Saloner's assessment of MOOCs and how he does not see them as a potential threat to Stanford. They will benefit the larger public by educating anyone who wants to learn, and they will benefit Stanford by getting our name out there.

It's still impossible to see where MOOCs will lead us as more and more institutions adopt them as a practice, but I think Stanford will endure.

Click here to read the article!

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