University of Minnesota signs on to offer free online classes

  • Article by: Jenna Ross , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 21, 2013 - 6:56 AM

Five professors will teach in the noncredit “MOOC” movement.

  • 21
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
kleindropperFeb. 20, 1310:31 PM

I'm offended by the use of the word MOOC. Can the University change the name?

11
17
lonstarFeb. 21, 1312:07 AM

The "personalized study" business here seems a little disingenuous...when I went to the UofM pretty much all of freshman year was MOOC. You went to the 400+ student psych 101 class in all three theaters of Willey Hall which was pretty much just videos, or the massive physics or calc lectures, then crossed your fingers you'd get a coherent, competent TA for the recitations who actually would want to help you learn. I don't think 100% free is the best solution either, though - dropping some coin would weed out the tourists.

25
5
endothermFeb. 21, 1312:25 AM

I think that getting good information out into the world is always a good thing, so I support the basic idea behind this trend. However, the idea that these MOOCS are going to change the world and make quality, free education available to everybody is a fantasy. They're interesting, but the only people who really succeed in them are students who are already highly disciplined and highly motivated. The people who are best suited to the MOOCS are usually already college graduates, who want to take a class or two for reasons of self-development. The vast majority of college freshmen and sophomores just aren't prepared to fully take advantage.

30
1
bgrady170Feb. 21, 1312:36 AM

They are paid by the tax payers, should be free to the people who pay taxes

14
8
cjcramerFeb. 21, 1312:52 AM

I'm one of the MOOC instructors, and it's certainly true, as endotherm implies (love that handle, by the way) that MOOCs won't simply eliminate more traditional higher ed. BUT, they will fill a niche that will serve a significant number of students, and we should experiment to see how we can continuously improve that service. There's no single best method, but I'm proud that the U of M is willing to explore the possibilities associated with EVERY mehod. I like to think of MOOCs as being a bit like a free gym membership. You'll likely do better if you pony up the much higher cost for a personal trainer, but you still might do pretty well trying to work out on your own (and it's hard to beat the price of: free).

29
1
elmore1Feb. 21, 13 3:43 AM

The idea is interesting and of value. I don't see why you couldn't do your basic freshman courses this way. The U still needs major reform, restructuring and a significant reduction in their expense structure. I hope that this is a sincere program and not a ruse to take attention away from the real problems. Asking the state to fund their ongoing fiscal mismanagement is like giving an alcoholic a bottle of booze...

9
4
furguson11Feb. 21, 13 4:45 AM

"The University of Minnesota will create its own free online courses" As we find out later in the article, nothing is "free." It will require time from faculty, instructional designers and others at the U. And the contract with allows Coursera to generate revenue to split with the U. This is a little like free checking.

14
4
circleoflifeFeb. 21, 13 6:52 AM

I suppose now everyone wanting a "higher education" will be receiving a "free" laptop.

6
16
bluebird227Feb. 21, 13 7:25 AM

They should offer a MOOCs in personal finance and investing. Or, evaluating news and web sources for authenticity and reliability.

9
3
charlesvanekFeb. 21, 13 8:01 AM

I'm thrilled that the University is taking this on, but not for any of the reasons mentioned in the article. Ross missed a very important aspect of MOOCS. Those thousands of students don't just work in response to teacher generated content, they usually form into networks and push the learning beyond the it. Collectively we know more than individually. This is even more true with the surplus of information available on the web. It's the formation of those lasting networks, guiding us to all that info, that are the real value here.

3
1

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Timberwolves season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT