September 6, 2013, 11:58 am
By Karen Head
Karen Head is an assistant professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Literature, Media, and Communication, and director of the university’s Communication Center. She has been reporting periodically on her group’s efforts to develop and offer a massive open online course in freshman composition. This is her final post on the course.
“‘Since our MOOC, ‘First-Year Composition 2.0,’ officially ended in late July, I have been asked many times whether the course was a success. My standard response is, ‘Define success.’
“Throughout my blog postings I have tried to report on the process as objectively as possible, and have avoided engaging in the more political and philosophical debates surrounding MOOCs. I’d like to close with this challenge: Please continue to think about the process and practice of teaching MOOCs as objectively as possible, using constructive academic discourse. We frequently hear this topic talked about in terms of “disruption,” a word I really disdain. I wonder how such a term—meaning disorder, turmoil, destruction —became the preferred way to talk about improving education. Why haven’t we gravitated instead to words like augment, extend, progress, or strengthen?”