Richard Arum and Jospia Roksa,
Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses



Social science and the public sphere
by Stephen M. Walt
walt.foreignpolicy.com, 2009-12-08

One of the more unfortunate trends on contemporary social science has been
a growing “cult of irrelevance,”
a set of implicit standards that encourages smart young scholars to write
more and more about less and less for fewer and fewer readers.
The principle of academic freedom and the granting of lifetime tenure
are supposed to free academics to tackle
controversial subjects or ambitious research projects,
but all-too-many social scientists choose to devote their efforts
to meaningless displays of methodological firepower
and to attack questions that are only of interest
to a small group of like-minded scholars.
Even when they do stumble on to a topic that is of general interest,
they will present their results in a manner designed to make it
incomprehensible to even a well-educated educated lay-person.



Universities Reshaping Education on the Web
New York Times, 2012-07-17

As part of a seismic shift in online learning that is reshaping higher education, Coursera, a year-old company founded by two Stanford University computer scientists, will announce on Tuesday that a dozen major research universities are joining the venture. In the fall, Coursera will offer 100 or more free massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that are expected to draw millions of students and adult learners globally.

Even before the expansion, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, the founders of Coursera, said it had registered 680,000 students in 43 courses with its original partners, Michigan, Princeton, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania.

Now, the partners will include the California Institute of Technology; Duke University; the Georgia Institute of Technology; Johns Hopkins University; Rice University; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Washington; and the University of Virginia, where the debate over online education was cited in last’s month’s ousting — quickly overturned — of its president, Teresa A. Sullivan. Foreign partners include the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the University of Toronto and EPF Lausanne, a technical university in Switzerland.

And some of them will offer credit.



The College Faculty Crisis
New York Times editorial, 2014-04-14

Labels: ,