Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Philip Zekilow, Beware!

Jonathan Rees has signed up for your World History MOOC. 

A taste from Rees's latest post at More or Less Bunk:

Don’t be alarmed. There will be no new 16-part series of the entire process because I have my own three classes to teach starting later today. I just wanted to see how Philip Zelikow of the University of Virginia handles the structural issues surrounding his World History MOOC and maybe check out his lectures on some of my favorites subjects like industrialization and World War I.

Even though the class just started today, I can see major differences with my last MOOC already. For one thing, Zelikow isn’t using peer grading. Instead, MOOC student grades are based on long (at least compared to Jeremy Adelman’s class) multiple choice tests. On the one hand, as a believer in good writing I should find that appalling. On the other hand, peer grading in the Adelman MOOC was such a disaster (at least IMHO) that I actually understand his decision. This doesn’t mean I want to give anyone college credit based on their performance, but I do understand why Zelikow went this route.

The other major difference is only obvious because I’ve been in contact with Zelikow already and he was nice enough to send me his on-campus syllabus. He is doing what they call in the trade these days a “flipped classroom.” In other words, his students at Virginia are watching the exact same MOOC lectures that the Coursera students are. In other words, the University of Virginia is both a producer and a consumer of Zelikow’s MOOC materials. 

Read the rest here.