• Law, Policy -- and IT?

    Tracy Mitrano explores the intersection where higher education, the Internet and the world meet (and sometimes collide).


Liberal Arts and MOOCs

It's time to flip the question.

April 29, 2013
"MOOCs" are making a big splash in higher education.  In some ways they disrupt traditional institutional structures, credit hours, and academic credentials. In other ways, they retain traditional formats such as "sage on the stage," teaching styles, passive learning and notions of "the course."  Rather than think about how "MOOCs" will influence liberal arts education, perhaps it is time to flip the question. What does traditional liberal arts education have to offer "MOOCs"? The answer remains the enduring value of education that produces critical thinkers, life-long learners and economically and politically contributing members of society. But in order to accomplish that feat, liberal arts education may have to take a lesson from MOOCs on how to generate excitement for the deployment of technology in service of inter-institutional and even international classrooms, information competency and problem-solving based courses."
The first paragraph of this blog is what I have submitted as title and abstract for the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries (AMICAL) conference in Rome.  This Consortium consists mainly of the American Universities academic libraries abroad.  In light of the blog conversation of late regarding MOOCs posted here, as well as in thinking about the conversation we are to have with AMICAL come June, I hope to accomplish the goal set out in this abstract.  

I will keep you posted. :-). In the meantime, if you have a suggestion for a catchy name for what the liberal arts version of a "MOOC" might be, please suggest in comments?


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