I just listed to “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete,” an Intelligence Squared debate about the role that MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and other forms of online learning should play in higher education. The panelists arguing for the motion were Anant Agawal (founder of edX) and Ben Nelson (CEO of the Minerva Project). They were opposed by Jonathan Cole (Provost of Columbia University) and Rebecca Schuman (an adjunct professor and education writer). While the debate didn’t sway my opinion either way, I think that the panelists made some really interesting points that are worth thinking about: Continue reading
“What the Best College Teachers Do,” by Ken Bain, is the result of a 15 year study of exceptional college teachers from around the United States. Bain and his colleagues identified outstanding teachers through a process that considered student evaluations, recommendations from other teachers, and in-person interviews and observations. Sixty-three teachers from a wide variety of disciplines and institutions were selected and their teaching practices and philosophies were studied in detail. This was accomplished through interviews with the professors and their students, observations of classes (and, in a few cases, entire courses), and analysis of student evaluations and performance.