Friday, January 10, 2014

The Grand Experiment

The Grand Experiment
Winter 2014

Can what’s special about Wellesley classes be translated into digital courses for thousands?

Last September, for the first time in 10 years, I enrolled in a Wellesley class. But instead of walking across the leaf-strewn green and through the doors of Pendleton East, I logged on to Anthropology 207x from my home computer, while balancing a baby in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

For the next several months, my newborn daughter and I, and roughly 19,250 other people around the world, participated in the College’s grand experiment in online education. In the past two years, higher education has been shaken to its core, and those vibrations have been felt even in the hallowed halls of Wellesley College. And it’s all because of a little four-letter word: MOOC (rhymes with “spook”).

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