Date: May 20, 2013 2:36 PM
Author: Richard Hake
Subject: Is Higher Education Running AMOOC?

Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in a recent post 
"Is Higher Education Running AMOOC?" [Hake (2013)]. The abstract

ABSTRACT: My discussion-list post "Evaluating the Effectiveness of
College" at <> concerned the failure of U.S.
higher education to emphasize *student learning* rather than the
*delivery of instruction* [Barr and Tagg (1995)] at
<>. In response, a correspondent asked me "Is
There Some Hope In Coursera's 'Pedagogical Foundations'
<> ?"

Despite the serious cracks detected in all but one of Coursera's five
pedagogical foundation stones, I don't think Coursera is necessarily
doomed to pedagogic collapse. Instead I think there may actually be
some hope IF its MOOCs are evaluated by measurement of
pre-to-post-course student learning gains using Concept Inventories
<>. If the physics education reform effort is
any guide, then (a) such assessment will demonstrate that MOOCs are
actually MOORFAPs (Massive Open Online Repetitions of FAiled
Pedagogy), and (b) there will be some incentive to transform MOOCs
into MOOLOs (Massive Open Online Learning Opportunities).

But even if MOOCs fail to become MOOLOs there still may be some hope
since, as Keith Devlin (2013) points out at <>,
MOOCs have the potential to uncover individuals world-wide who have
the talent to learn from MOORFAPs, in the same way that most current
professional physicists were able to learn physics from FAPs (Failed
Academic Pedagogy).

For those who may wish to dig deeper into the MOOC milieu I recommend
Nathan Heller's (2013) scholarly "LAPTOP U: Has the future of college
moved online?" at <> (probably for a limited

To access the complete 39 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <>
Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs: <>
Academia: <>
Blog: <>
GooglePlus: <>
Google Scholar: <>
Twitter: <>
Facebook: <>

There was a giant MOOC,
based on a little book <>,
When MOOC hype was trending torrid.
And when MOOCS were good,
They were very, very good,
But when they were bad they were horrid <>.

Profs stood on their heads,
'students' watching from beds,
With nobody by for to hinder.
Peer-graded squalor,
plagiarized <> in the holler,
And drummed all their palms against Winders.

Foundations heard the noise,
and thought it was the boys,
Playing Coursera and edX.
They funded and Ventured,
noncredit adventures,
While we all suffer the headX.
- Slightly reformatted version of Sherman Dorn's (2013) "The MOOC Poem"

REFERENCES [URL's shortened by <> and accessed on 20 May 2013.]
Dorn, S. 2013. "The MOOC Poem," Inside Higher Ed, 11 March; online at
<>, with apologies to Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow's "There was a little girl" <>.

Hake, R.R. 2013. "Is Higher Education Running AMOOC?" online on the
OPEN! Net-Gold archives at <>. Post of 19 May
2013 18:47:06 -0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to
the complete post are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at