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Mathieu Plourde

Open access inaction - 2 views

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    I've published this paper in a journal called Science and Public Policy - a conventional way of being read by other academics. Except that whatever baroque negotiations have taken place between the journal's new publisher and the UCL library mean that, despite being a member staff at one of Europe's largest universities, I don't seem to have access to that journal. This piece of research, funded by British taxpayers, can't even be read by me.
Mathieu Plourde

MOOCs - massive open online courses: jumping on the bandwidth - 0 views

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    "Regardless of the goal of MOOCs - be it for profit or idealism - there are genuine educational concerns that need to be closely monitored. A course with 10,000 (or even 1,000) students enrolled cannot foster any significant discussion. Yes, teaching assistants (TAs) can be employed to groups of 100-200 students for online questions etc, but that may not be so simple. About 100 TAs would be needed for a modest-sized MOOC of 10,000 students. Even for the lecturer to organise 100 TAs would be a Herculean task. Another serious concern is evaluation. How can one evaluate 20,000 students taking a course? Yes, electronic quizzes and multiple-choice tests can be given to monitor progress - if the material is suitable for such types of questions. But what about material in the social sciences and humanities that might be harder to evaluate (than science) without essay-style answers? I've already seen that companies are attempting to write computer programs that will grade essays. But as one educator put it, how can a programmer include wit and style for evaluation in such a program?"
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