SMU Instructional Designer Publishes Article about MOOCs

Samuel Merritt University Instructional Designer Ted Curran recently had an article published on the website The article, titled Saving Universities in the Era of MOOCS, communicates a vision of how we at SMU could stay competitive if massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, (online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web) ever become a viable option for our prospective student base.

"The traditional school of thought that defines a class meeting as 'one teacher to 30 students' is being challenged by the current interest in massive open online courses (MOOCs)," says Curran.

MOOCs can offer lecture content to thousands of students at a time, but students get much less individualized support and attention in these courses and consequently drop out or fail in high numbers, says Curran. Traditional universities like SMU can learn from the innovations MOOCs bring while avoiding their shortcomings.

This article argues for deep collaboration between faculty and strong interdisciplinary support teams to produce rigorous, appealing, and interactive hybrid courses that offer more than MOOCs can-- personalized guidance towards mastery of learning objectives and a higher level of service to a greater number of students by combining the strengths of the technology with the power of caring teachers.

Congratulations to Ted on publication of his thoughtful and important article.

Read the entire article here.

If you like this article, you may enjoy Ted's professional blog on Education Technology,

Read about Curran's presentation this spring at the University of Kochi, Japan, here.

pictured: Ted Curran

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