21 ottobre 2013

The first european classrooms in cyberspace

Yesterday Manuela Verduci, the Italian member of the iversity management team, sent me the following email:

"Hi Salvatore,
The [iversity] courses are online! :-)
We have more than 100,000 students, which means we are the biggest platform in Europe!
Design 101 is the second most popular course, with more than 19,000 signed up :-)
Have a nice day :-)"

In fact, as I wrote, "the first Italian-inspired course - though in English - in cyberspace (an obsolete word that I'm happy to exhume) and the first Italian MOOC (massive online open course) faculty in design" has become the most followed course of all time, with several Italian teachers. The linguist Tullio de Mauro, an expert analyst of the development of teaching establishments, greeted the arrival of the new courses simply by saying: "Here come the MOOCs."

De Mauro observed: "Three major forces drive the whirlwind that is the MOOC: 

1)  dissatisfaction with traditional face-to-face courses;
2) the hope that the Internet can bring interactive learning that is more effective than listening/solitary reading/orals or written exams (which simply demonstrate the ability to repeat what the teacher had to say);
3)  the need to be international."

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