Group urges checks on online learning at MIT

Concerned about the pace of change brought about by online learning, an Institute subcommittee is now preparing to recommend a “face-time” degree requirement, strong oversight of on-campus MITx experiments, and a “conservative initial approach” to awarding credit for edX classes. The Tech reports.

“We’re not against it. Just go slow, and see what’s going to happen,” Professor Susan S. Silbey said of digital learning experiments in MIT classes. Silbey, who heads the anthropology department, is the chair of the subcommittee.

A draft report detailing the committee’s recommendations was presented at a faculty meeting on March 19.

The subcommittee saw “incomparable value” in face-to-face engagement between faculty and students, suggesting that without such interaction, students would struggle to develop social skills like “turn-taking” and the use of “visual, bodily cues.”

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