Faculty members share experiences with MOOCs

A panel lead by faculty discussed their experiences in teaching courses online Friday morning, The Duke Chronicle reports.

The forum was a response to an April meeting of the Arts and Sciences Council that voted against a motion to adopt online courses for credit. Subsequently, the University’s contract with 2U—an online education company—was broken.

“The April resolution of the Arts and Sciences Council encouraged the faculty and council to encourage and support faculty that are experimenting with online teaching and learning,” said Thomas Robisheaux, chair of the council. All of the professors that spoke had developed and taught a Massive Open Online Course.

“The faculty really want to and need to know what we are currently doing with online learning,” Robisheaux said.

Orin Starn, professor and chair of the cultural anthropology department, said he was eager to try teaching an online class. Before he began developing his MOOC, however, Starn said that he had not considered the ethical implications of working in an online forum, nor had he realized how much work would go into producing the course.

“It is a nightmare just how hard it is to teach these classes,” Starn said.

He estimated that it took 20 times more effort to complete the lessons for his MOOC than for his in-person course.

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