(To view a PDF of the print copy, click here)
IN THIS ISSUE
- Welcome Letter from Dwight Hodgson
- I Took A MOOC
- Interview: MCNY President Vinton Thompson
- Learning To Learn
- MOOCs At MCNY?
- Low MOOC Completion Rates
- A Brief Tour of MOOC Providers
- MOOCs And Math
- LEC Students on MOOCs
As the new Coordinator of the Learning Enhancement Center (LEC) and Mentor & Leadership Development Program (MLDP), I am excited to welcome you to another edition of Luminaria. This edition seeks to unfold the MOOC phenomenon. Recently, I have found myself thinking about my past professional experiences in non-conventional environments, which have given me an array of perspectives on education and learning. As the Education Center Coordinator for an adult basic education center, I analyzed issues ranging from the residual effects of a flawed K-12 system to the impositions of family life on the adult learner. As the Coordinator of a CUNY access program charged with getting young minorities involved in biomedical research and the world of STEM, I worked with students at the top of their undergraduate classes—students who didn’t need remedial intervention but who needed to be introduced to, and guided through, research opportunities, internships, and summer programs. And as Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion at a premier city high school, I promoted diversity within an intelligent and articulate but, from the perch of interpersonal engagement, socially and culturally uninformed student body.
In each of these situations—and in many more like them—MOOCs have the potential to fill an education gap by giving students the time and space to step in and out of the classroom experience without interrupting their work flow. Having seen early college students selflessly offer up their naivety in exchange for an introduction to different cultures, I imagine students will bring that same innocence and yearning to the global, virtual MOOC classroom. I like to think that, in the same ways my former students strung their life experiences outside the classroom into an applicable learning device when they worked with their tutors, students enrolled in MOOCs will use their experience to enhance the experience for all. And I also believe that the communal MOOC environment will foster an opportunity for students to chime in on topics they never imagined they could have anything of substance to offer.
I am not concerned, and do not think, that MOOCs will replace the traditional classroom. More likely, they will supplement the brick-and-mortar education system richly and robustly . . . with many hiccups along the way. And that brings me full circle, to my role with the LEC and MLDP here at MCNY. As online classes and MOOCs continue to expand throughout higher education, support services—where confused and introspective students converse with real, live human tutors and mentors—will become all the more vital. As you survey the perspectives of this issue, I hope you take a moment to consider how the digital MOOC model might add to the analog nature of your education and your life. Happy reading.Share