Union concerned with New York MOOC expansion

A plan to enroll 100,000 New York college students in massive open online courses (MOOCs) without increasing faculty has drawn criticism from a union leader who described MOOCs as “experimental.”

SUNY was one of several university systems to sign on with Coursera.

Officials from the State University of New York (SUNY) system announced in June that schools would partner with MOOC platform Coursera to serve 100,000 students in for-credit classes.

Frederick Kowal, president of the 35,000-member United University Professions (UUP) — a union representing 35,000 academic and professional faculty — said SUNY’s agreement with Coursera represented a weakening of academic standards and a watering down of classroom lessons.

“UUP is concerned about the quality of credit-bearing MOOCs and the impact that offering them would have on teaching and learning within the SUNY system,” Kowal said in a union statement. “UUP is concerned that the overuse of MOOCs will dilute the overall quality of a SUNY education.”…Read More