The Future of the (Online) University

Posted on 13 Feb 2014. Modified 30 Nov -0001.

The Economist writes about the innovative Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and how they challenge the traditional higher education strucure of learning. The point here is that, while traditional courses come with high marginal costs – adding additional students entail large investments in teaching staff and physical structure –, MOOCs come with “rock bottom marginal cost” per student. After developing the course and getting started, adding new students is “virtually free,” according Economist.

The story, published in the paper edition on Feb 8, 2014, surmises that

  • “until recently” students were required to be present “in a lecture hall to hear the professor” or “around a table with fellow students” – implicating that teachers are distant to learners in traditional university settings, and that collaborative face-to-face learning is undesirable, or, in the least, not superior to online alternatives.
  • students crave more intimate contact with teachers. The story claims that “interaction with professors is limited to keep costs down.” Nevertheless, interaction with skilled teachers is costly, and online contact is not of the same quality as physical proximity offered in traditional university settings.

Two interesting and relevant corollaries are offered by way of quotations from Stanford professor Caroline Hoxby:

First, “less than selective (read: cheap) institutions are close substitutes for MOOCs. ... Most are at serious risk of displacement.”

Second, “elite institutions face very different circumstances.” They offer “labour-intensive education to highly qualified students” aiming to “cultivate a sense of belonging ... in order to recoup their investment decades later in the form of donations.” However, when such institutions offer MOOCs, “the personal link between students and the university” is broken, making elite graduates feel less like “the chosen few. For top schools, the best bet may simply be to preserve their exclusivity.” Writes The Economist. On page 64. Of the Feb 8, 2014, edition.

Å brette læringssubjektet

Posted on 8 Nov 2013. Modified 30 Nov -0001.

Om Deleuze. :

På en måte er Gilles Deleuzes’ forståelse av bretten en kritikk av dem som forstår subjektivitet som en enkel innside og utside (fasade og essens eller overflate og dybde), for bretten hevder at innsida ikke er noe mer eller noe annet enn en innbretting av utsida.
Michel Foucault illustrerer denne relasjonen slik: Renessanseepokens gale, den som settes ut i en båt og der blir passasjer eller “fange” i det eksternes interiør, dvs i havets innbretting, blir for Deleuze en stadig mer kompleks skildring av mangfoldet av innbrettingsmodaliteter: Fra innbretting av våre materielle selv, våre kropper, til tidsinnbrettinger, altså minnene våre.
Subjektivitet i seg sjøl kan forstås som en innbrettingas topologi. Bretten er slik også navnet på en relasjon vi har til oss sjøl (til følelsene vi har for – og som dermed virker på – oss sjøl). I antikkens Hellas oppdaget og iverksatte man denne bretteteknikken. Det er dette vi kjenner som sjølmestring.Simon O’ Sullivan, “Definition: Fold”


Posted on 28 Jun 2013. Modified 30 Nov -0001.

Her er det lenker for deg som er interessert i norsk som andrespråk.

Everything can ...

Posted on 23 May 2013. Modified 30 Nov -0001.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

A Krashen course in SLA

Posted on 10 May 2013. Modified 30 Nov -0001.

Stephen Krashen’s classic Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning, online from his own weg-site. It’s a bit longish, and dates back to the glorious eighties (1981 to be precise). But it made waves. And still does. 

About Torgeir Fjeld
I have taught at many universities in North America, Europe, and Africa, including the University of Minnesota, Roehampton University, the University of Gdańsk, and the University of kwaZulu/Natal. I am Head of the Ereignis Center for Philosophy and the Arts, Publisher at Tankebanen forlag, and Editor-in-Chief of Inscriptions. My latest books are Introducing Ereignis: philosophy, technology, way of life and Perversion’s Beyond: life at the edge of knowledge. I have published many articles, editorials, and op-eds; you can read many of them for free by following links on the articles page. And here is a page entirely dedicated to poetry in translation! This site has a cookie policy.