Has the MOOCs backlash begun?

San Jose State university system now stands at the forefront of making deals with private sector start-ups to package lectures from Ivy League professors and opening some for-credit classes to the masses, The Australian reports. Now, a counterrevolution is underway. In recent weeks, humanities professors – feeling the withering of their departments and fearing virtual demotions – have begun to resist calls to abandon traditional teaching methods. In an open letter to a Harvard University professor who offered San Jose State his online social justice course, California State philosophy professors argue that momentum is building to dismantle college as we know it, a concern echoing through academic halls nationwide. “Let’s not kid ourselves; administrators at the CSU are beginning a process of replacing faculty with cheap online education,” the philosophy faculty wrote in a letter to Harvard professor Michael Sandel. … Traditional classes are just fine with Ryan Brewer, a philosophy minor at San Jose State who said the interaction with his professor and classmates is what college is about. Online lectures feel “like a hand-me-down education,” he said. ”’Here, watch this video.’ ”

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