Friday, August 31, 2012

The Best HBCUs for Online Degrees in 2012

Note: The 2013 update for this post is in process
A. Context
The Babson Survey Group recently reported that a majority of the faculty polled in a national survey regarded online education with "more fear than excitement" -- a sentiment based on their assessment that online programs for non-traditional students were not as good as face-to-face programs for traditional students. (See “Conflicted: Faculty and Online Education, 2012”)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Institutional Reform vs. the Student/Parent Entrepreneur

Institutional reform, by definition takes years to implement at any level. So when you go to the principal in October to point out some serious deficiencies in your child's second grade math class, he or she may respond by telling you all of the wonderful improvements they are about make in second grade math, reforms that will start next year, but be fully implemented the year after ... and you quietly note that by that time your son or daughter will be starting fourth grade. What to do? What to do?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A MOOC MOOC and a MOOC for Launching Online Programs at HBCUs

The MOOC MOOC, organized by the good folk at Hybrid Pedagogy, began last Sunday, August 12th, and ended today, August 18th. It was billed as a MOOC about MOOCs. In other words, it was  an introduction to MOOCs in the format of a MOOC, i.e., a massive open online course. But for me as a student/participant, it turned out to be an intense, chaotic, catalytic learning experience that greatly accelerated my thinking about how to facilitate the launch of a comprehensive set of online and blended degree & certificate programs at my own HBCU, an initiative that began in January 2011.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Video Introductions to cMOOCs for HBCUs ... modified 4/27/13

Like many other members of the HBCU community, I have read many articles and reports in the higher education media over the course of the last year about MOOCs. All of these readings were written by well informed reporters but, from what I have learned in my first four days as a student/participant in the MOOC MOOC, most of these reports were way off base.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Short Memoir About a Writing Class Without a Teacher

Last update: 8/15/2012
Note: This essay was written as my response to an assignment in the "MOOC MOOC" -- a MOOC about MOOCs.  We were asked to address "participant pedagogy" --  methods that empower students to do most/all of the teaching.

Having worked as an engineer from 1963 until 1967, I resumed my graduate studies in the fall of that year, switching from math to urban planning, my reaction as a Black American to the riots/rebellions that had flared up in central cities all over the country that summer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


A. Background
The hype about MOOCs ("Massive Open Online Courses") in the media ever since 160,000 students enrolled in Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence course in the fall 2011 semester encouraged some MOOC pioneers, whose involvement predates Stanford's by a few years,  to launch the MOOC MOOC. This is a short, intensive MOOC about MOOCs that is designed to enable participants to discover what MOOCs are and can be from the inside and/or refine their previous conceptions. The MOOC MOOC started on Sunday, August 12th and will run until Saturday, August 18th.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

MOOCs -- Demand and Supply

A. Demand
Scenarios about the possible uses of free, non-credit, massive open online courses, i.e., MOOCs, produced by some of the world's most elite colleges and universities have recently been repeated so often in higher education news media, websites, and blogs that they have begun to have the familiar ring of old news accounts of things that have actually happened instead of plausible hypotheticals. Indeed, I myself have posted my own versions of these fanciful tales in the last couple of months on this blog. So just for the record, let's go one more round as to the roles that our current conventional wisdom expects free elite MOOCs to play before considering what now seems to me to be the more likely alternative non-elite sources of these revolutionary tools ... tools that won't be free ... and won't be as open

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012

MOOCs and Other Online Courses Don't Have to Be as Good as Face-to-Face Courses

OK, I'm kidding. But now that I have your undivided attention, let me take this opportunity to turn the tables on all of the shrill critics of online education who are still out there, and you know who you are -- those of you who nodded in sage agreement when you read about the Babson Group's survey "Conflicted, Faculty and Online Education 2012," that found that most of the faculty respondents expressed "more fear than excitement" about online education.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Elite MOOCs -- Short Term and Long

The sudden eruptions of free MOOCs (massive open online courses) from the nation's most elite universities during the academic year just ended were coupled with the melodramatic fairy tale at the University of Virginia wherein a popular headmistress was summarily dismissed from Hogwarts by a gaggle of evil wizards because she hadn't mooked fast enough. But she was quickly reinstated; whereupon she promptly waved her wand, murmured "enhance the brand" and they all mooked happily ever after ... :-)