Saturday, 20 July 2013

A MOOC Primer by SEK Once upon a time I did one of these that proved so popular Insider Higher Ed promised to pay me $125 to reprint it at their place. And they did reprint it yes they did. But I digress: last night I was avoiding things I couldn't change, but lacked the courage required to change the things I could, so instead I decided to write a primer summarizing my feelings about the MOOC phenomenon I've been reading so much about lately. It goes something like this: A is for affordable, you too can attend! B, the boredom of the automated emails that they send. C is for the crowd-sourced marks you never can protest, D, the comments you receive from Dr. Dispossessed. E is for efficiency, you'll learn much more and faster; F, the mark you'll earn from your anonymous headmaster. G is for goals you'll meet, should fleeting time permit; H, the honey badger, who doesn't give a shit. I's for innovation, as the Internet is used; J's the campus jobs "human appliances" will lose. K is for "the kids," for whom all this is done; L, the learning process, endless lectures on re-run. M is for the money that will soon begin to rain, O for the obscenity of pipe dreams, most profane. O's also for objectives and assessments by machines, C, "collaboration," 'cross seas of dim-lit screens. Q is for the questions never answered in a MOOC, R for "really thoughtful answers" copied from a book. S, the rare impoverished souls, who care enough to try, T, the time spent wasted, "learning" from a turned blind eye. U's for universities, who seek to monetize, V, the vastness of the campus they've lobotomized. W's for the wallet, slit wide and fit to pad, X is the amount slipped in, the bills that feed the fad. Y is for the questions time and space do not permit, Z, the honey badger, who doesn't give a shit. NOTE: Editorial advice is always welcome, as deaf scansion tends to emphasize rhythm at the expense of everything else.

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