After attending the Technapex’s MOOC Madness event last Monday, I found myself both excited about the potential MOOCs have to expand the reach of higher education, as well as slightly sore about some of the assumptions that were made about online learning, Technapex reports. The main presumption that irked me was the argument that the best learning takes place inside a physical classroom. I understand that the intention behind this position is that personal interaction and collaboration between students will inspire the most creativity and therefore maximize understanding; however, I have issues with the connections made between this interaction and the classroom environment, specifically within higher ed institutions. Most of the material presented in a university course does not necessitate a physical classroom, and is even observed to be the less-preferred option among students. The connection between comprehensive learning and a typical classroom environment was that presented and supported by the panel; however, my own personal experiences as a student have led to my support of a very contrary stance. … I find that the majority of the time I spend in class (the time spent in lecture) is less of a wholesome and enriching environment filled with collaboration and idea-swapping and rather more a big hollow room where I sit for 50-minute time slots and someone shares his or her own thoughts and opinions.

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