Comments on: A bunch of stuff you know already if you don’t have your head up your a$$ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:41:03 +0000 hourly 1 By: Katherine Sat, 20 Jul 2013 06:06:37 +0000 If Thrun and his ilk are using MOOCs to “experiment” on students then where are their forms for experimenting on human subjects?
(I also hear there is gambling at Rick’s)

By: Indyanna Sat, 20 Jul 2013 04:20:49 +0000 I’ve loved that delicious anecdote about Zinn’s “fortunately for me I’m independently wealthy…” signing statement that he included with his contract, and telling badly mis-remembered or even apocryphal versions of the story ever since you told it to me years ago, Historiann. It almost makes me wish we could decertify our union, so I could go through the yearly ritual of giving my literary “consent” to a unilateral salary tender from our president, and try to come up with something half as witty and hopefully true. I wonder what the rock hard facts were? Did he really make a bundle on the People’s History? My favorite part of the essays in the Oxford DNB is the “wealth-at-death” feature, where essayists manage to count every last lowing kine or merino sheep in some addled duke’s water meadow, or every crusted paintbrush in a starving artist’s garret.

By: Feminist Avatar Sat, 20 Jul 2013 02:14:53 +0000 Glad to see academic integrity is not being undermined by the MOOC:

“In fact, San Jose State students using edX are outperforming students who do not. Junn said the university is preparing a paper on that project and hopes to have it published in a peer-reviewed journal.”

Right, so we’re going to sweep the bad results under the rug, but the good results we’re going to turn into academic articles and submit for peer review. Wouldn’t want to be biased after all.

By: Nick Fri, 19 Jul 2013 21:10:35 +0000 “…it got more people interested in learning more about American history than most high school or college textbooks” It’s funny you say that; that’s exactly what it did for me in junior college. That book lit a fire in me that will probably never go out.

By: Susan Fri, 19 Jul 2013 18:08:15 +0000 My favorite (from the SF Chronicle story on the SJSU/Udacity debacle, behind a paywall) is this:

“Despite the high failure rate, Thrun said valuable data and experience were gained from the effort, which will help improve future classes.
“We are experimenting and learning. That to me is a positive,” Thrun said.

Officials say the data suggests many of the students had little college experience or held jobs while attending classes. Both populations traditionally struggle with college courses.
“We had this element that we picked, student populations who were not likely to succeed,” Thrun said.

So what we’ve been saying all along is true: that the students who need the most help, actually need a PERSON. When this was shared by a colleague, I wondered whether the students would be paid for participating in Udacity’s R&D; but apparently Thrun is really saying “We can do remedial education better and cheaper if you give us smart kids who don’t need it that badly”.