Canary in the Coal Mine of Online Learning
If you work in higher education, it is hard to avoid the hype surrounding MOOCs (massive open online courses) during the last couple of years. Just what is all the hype about? In this presentation, Lori Packer will discuss her experiences going from Web professional to student in MOOCs from Coursera and Udacity, and a "traditional" Blackboard-driven graduate program and will ask several questions. How do MOOCs compare to other online experiences? How does technology help or impede the learning process? Is a "classroom" of thousands really a classroom? How does the role of a professor change in this environment? The role of a student? When on-campus students are paying $6,000 to take the same 3-credit class that thousands of students are taking for free, what value is being added for the on-campus student, and does that added value worth the cost? Are these developments in massive online courses exciting? Alarming? Both?
Web Editor, University of Rochester
Lori Packer is responsible for the design, maintenance, and content strategy for several central University websites, including the University’s homepage and news site. Packer is also part of the design and editorial team for Futurity.org. Before coming to higher ed, Packer was the lead U.S. editor for MSN Search — Microsoft’s pre-Bing search engine — and received a master’s degree in communications from the University of Washington. She is currently working toward her MSLIS from the iSchool at Syracuse University. She has served on the HighEdWeb organizing committee since 2003. She is a Phillies fan, a beer snob, and an insomniac, and she blogs sporadically atwww.goddessofclarity.com