Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

In writing about all of the hype surrounding MOOCs, I saw this photo entitled “University Classroom of the Future.”

From instructional television in the 1950s through updated versions of  “distance education, “a professor professing in front of a camera is familiar and surely will dominate many of the newly established platforms (e.g., Coursera, Udacity, edX). Whether it will be the “University Classroom of the Future,” I cannot say for sure. But the photo makes the professor front and center in teaching content and skills.

The prevailing version of MOOCs offers traditional, technology-enriched teacher-centered instruction, that is, lecturing to large groups of people, asking occasional questions, online discussion sections, and multiple-choice questions on exams. Such MOOCs possess advantages of efficiency in delivering information especially in particular subjects (e.g. procedural knowledge in computer science). Computer science departments at Stanford, MIT, and Harvard launched the initial MOOC offerings, not the Humanities, social sciences…

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