Conservative journalist attacks MOOCs – ModPo Army circles the wagons

One Carol Iannone of the National Review took it upon herself to launch a poorly researched attack on MOOCs, entitled, “MOOCs Can’t Teach.”  We heard about it and, well, you know, we couldn’t just let it stand.  Here is my contribution to the fray:

rdmaxwell • 15 hours ago
Dear Ms. Iannone: I haven’t read all the comments, so please forgive me if I mention something that has already been mentioned. I am struck by your title” MOOCs Can’t Teach.” It suggests that somehow, non-MOOC courses do teach and that therefore, MOOC’s are somehow defective or inferior to non-MOOC courses. But as anyone who has ever taught a course (or imparted any type of information) can attest, courses and course delivery systems do not teach, teachers teach, and even more significantly, the most recent research suggests that learners, properly motivated, teach themselves. Others have dealt with the internal points of your argument. I challenge you to enroll in a well-run and carefully designed MOOC course, like ModPo (Modern and Contemporary American Poetry). If you are in close proximity to others taking the course, and if you attend the weekly meet-ups, and if you are near enough to catch a live webcast or two in Philadelphia, and if you participate in the twitter chats accompanying the weekly live broadcasts, and if you write your essays and participate in the peer review of at least four other essays by your colleagues, and if you watch the videos and participate in the forum discussions, then, by the end of the tenth week, Ms. Iannone, I predict even you will learn more than you previously knew about poetry. And you will be a better person for it. So I join the chorus in inviting you to sign up for ModPo. Then you can write an article about MOOCs with some degree of authority.
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