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A MOOC Primer by SEK


Once upon a time I did one of these that proved so popular Insider Higher Ed promised to pay me $125 to reprint it at their place. And they did reprint it yes they did. But I digress: last night I was avoiding things I couldn’t change, but lacked the courage required to change the things I could, so instead I decided to write a primer summarizing my feelings about the MOOC phenomenon I’ve been reading so much about lately. It goes something like this:

A is for affordable, you too can attend!

B, the boredom of the automated emails that they send.

C is for the crowd-sourced marks you never can protest,

D, the comments you receive from Dr. Dispossessed.

E is for efficiency, you’ll learn much more and faster;

F, the mark you’ll earn from your anonymous headmaster.

G is for goals you’ll meet, should fleeting time permit;

H, the honey badger, who doesn’t give a shit.

I‘s for innovation, as the Internet is used;

J‘s the campus jobs “human appliances” will lose.

K is for “the kids,” for whom all this is done;

L, the learning process, endless lectures on re-run.

M is for the money that will soon begin to rain,

O for the obscenity of pipe dreams, most profane.

O‘s also for objectives and assessments by machines,

C, “collaboration,” ‘cross seas of dim-lit screens.

Q is for the questions never answered in a MOOC,

R for “really thoughtful answers” copied from a book.

S, the rare impoverished souls, who care enough to try,

T, the time spent wasted, “learning” from a turned blind eye.

U‘s for universities, who seek to monetize,

V, the vastness of the campus they’ve lobotomized.

W‘s for the wallet, slit wide and fit to pad,

X is the amount slipped in, the bills that feed the fad.

Y is for the questions time and space do not permit,

Z, the honey badger, who doesn’t give a shit.

NOTE: Editorial advice is always welcome, as deaf scansion tends to emphasize rhythm at the expense of everything else.

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