(From RealClearPolicy):

“Confronting MOOC Melancholy”

By Thomas K. Lindsay

Have we fallen prey to MOOC mania? A recent article  by Professor Peter Lawler, a distinguished humanist, raises deeper concerns about these “massive open online courses” than we usually hear.

Lawler finds faith in the “disruption” promised by MOOC supporters ill-founded.”The truth is that ‘disruption theory’ … means replacing an expensive and often self-indulgent concern for quality with doing what’s required to come up with a cheaper alternative that’s good enough for giving students what they need” to get jobs. But “this transformative agenda includes putting the higher quality but higher priced brands out of business.” This is “not a real issue when it comes to software or tablets,” which entail “nothing essential to human flourishing,” but that’s not “true when it comes to the disappearance of close reading of the ‘real books’ of philosophy, literature, theology, and so forth, the study of history, and the disciplined appreciation of art and music because they’re unreliable and not cost-efficient.” READ MORE HERE