I attended the SLOAN-C conference this week where Sebastian Thrun, delivered a keynote address about MOOCs, and Udacity a company he co-founded ; some of you may be familiar with the company and website, if not I invite you to please go check it out, really really good stuff.
Listing to his keynote address which was mostly about online learning, it’s revolution and his journey into the realm of online teaching; his address reconfirmed my thinking that all f2f courses should provide a blended approach to learning, like a lot of the information provided to us in this POT. Combining the two approaches to f2f learning; meaning adding the meticulous details that is involved in developing an online course or redesigning f2f courses that this POT is laying out for us and blend it for on the ground teaching.
Pedagogy First!, is teaching me what a daunting task it is developing a curriculum and now we want to move it to online … OMG – oh-my-goodness! shoot the provost. Joking right … maybe not?
What are small public universities going to do already cash deficient with faculty overloads? One solution to enter the online kingdom would be to outsource the whole online program, turn-key it, let a company use your name and you get a cash cow. . . Problem Solved Right. Should we prostitute education just to stay in the game, but is it a game? There where vendors like car salesman at this conference selling their magic to solve your school’s problems for developing online programs, some would invest all the money if you would give them control.
Maybe with the right approach outsourcing could work, if outsourcing your online programs includ developing a blended approach to your f2f courses and ongoing faculty development, not a buy-in and sell-out approach. There is something to be said about the on campus college experience and I truly feel online instruction blended with f2f would holistically revolutionize education by creating an environment for continued faculty development that would promote molding our students into lifelong learners.
Sebastian Thrun is co-founder of Udacity, Vice President/Fellow at Google, and a Stanford University research professor. Thrun was elected into the National Academy of Engineering at the age of 39, after publishing 11 books, over 350 research papers, and after winning numerous scientific awards. In 2011, Thrun resigned from a full professorship at Stanford, after a 15 year career in higher education. At Google, he is in charge of Google X, which is home to the Google self-driving car and the Google Glass project. At Udacity, he has taught the largest online graduate class ever taught, enrolling 160,000 students. Fast Company named him the fifth smartest person in technology; Germany bestowed him with the prestigious Max Planck research award at $1M. Thrun also won the DARPA Grand Challenge, a robotic race organized by the US Department of Defense.