Monday, November 18, 2013

Angered by MOOC Deals, San Jose State Faculty Senate Considers Rebuff; Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/18/13

Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education; Angered by MOOC Deals, San Jose State Faculty Senate Considers Rebuff: "Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president of San Jose State University, has spent much of the year turning his campus into a testing ground for new online-teaching tools. But apparently he's also been testing the patience of faculty members, who say the idea of shared governance has been all but forgotten as he has sought technology that might eventually help the university teach more students for less money. Now the faculty is striking back. The Academic Senate is expected to vote on Monday on a proposed policy that would forbid the university to sign contracts with outside technology providers without the approval of tenured and tenure-track faculty members in whatever department would be affected... Mr. Qayoumi has cultivated close relationships with edX and Udacity, two major providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and it's those relationships that have sparked conflicts with the faculty. EdX is a nonprofit undertaking backed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while Udacity is a for-profit enterprise founded by three Stanford University computer scientists. The fieriest clash occurred in late April, when philosophy professors at the university, dismayed by the provost's suggestion that they incorporate material from a famous Harvard professor's edX course into the curriculum, published an open letter in The Chronicle criticizing the notion of "one-size-fits-all vendor-designed" courses."

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