Web Link KQED: California U.C. and CSU Systems to Explore MOOCs in Spring 2013
The San Francisco based KQED-FM weekday morning radio talk show, Forum, of Thursday January 17, 2013 (13.01.17) discussed for the hour California's new investment in experimental online education. This is a link to the overview web page about that show. The web page contains a link to the MP3 download and to the "audio stream" of the program.
The subject matter experts, emailers and callers who speak in this Forum discussion present many excellent "pros" and "cons" about these experimental online courses. They are worth your listening too!
The strategy to begin online college education this Spring 2013 was announced by California Governor Jerry Brown Jr. at the University of California Regents meeting in Berkeley the previous day, Wednesday, January 16, 2013. Governor Brown and others "sold" the online learning experiment as essential one in this time of continued economic crisis in California and the nation.
The purpose of deploying online learning at the college level in Spring 2013 and subsequent semesters in part is to bring affordable entry-level for-credit college education to the poor and under privileged in California, who because of rising tuition and fees could not possibly qualify for entry to or afford the costs of college courses or even community college college-preparation courses they would have to attend on-campus. For example in Spring semester 2013, San Jose State University plans to offer 3 college-preparation courses online using the UDacity MOOC system developed at Stanford University. SJSU will limit class sizes to 300 people. In case everything goes wrong this smaller MOOC class size should allow SJSU faculty and administrators to more easily "unravel" the resulting "mess" in computerized academic records. SJSU also will charge a very low-cost tuition of $150 per semester to each online student, a price partly covering the costs of operating the online classes! Those who successfully complete the online courses receive college credit.
In the future, MOOCs of this kind are also expected to provide "pre-study" of the material in a more advanced course, possibly better preparing the "less than superior" and un-experienced college student to become prepared to take the course a second time, at the pace of the rest of the class, and complete it successfully for credit.