Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Re: ‘Laptop U’ Misses the Real Story

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “Re: ‘Laptop U’ Misses the Real Story” [Hake (2013)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Joshua Kim in his Inside Higher Ed report “ ‘Laptop U’ Misses the Real Story” at correctly pointed out two problems in Nathan Heller’s otherwise exemplary New Yorker article “Laptop U” at (paraphrasing):

1. “The online and blended education world, really the higher ed world where most of us spend our days, fails to make any appearance.”

2. “If in fact the real story is the rise of blended and online learning, then [that story] will go completely untold if MOOCs are the sole focus.”

In my opinion, two other problems are that “Laptop U”:

3. Fails to emphasize the fact that MOOCs, like most Higher Ed institutions, concentrate on DELIVERY OF INSTRUCTION rather than STUDENT LEARNING to the detriment of their effectiveness - - see “From Teaching to Learning: A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education” [Barr and Tagg (1995)] at

4. Ignores the failure of MOOC providers to gauge the effectiveness of their courses by pre-to-postcourse measurement of student learning gains utilizing “Concept Inventories” As I pointed out “Is Higher Education Running AMOOC?” [Hake (2013) at, such assessment would probably demonstrate that MOOCs are actually MOORFAPs (Massive Open Online Repetitions of FAiled Pedagogy). There would then be some incentive to transform MOOCs into MOOLOs (Massive Open Online Learning Opportunities).

To access the complete 9 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
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REFERENCES [URL shortened by and accessed on 22 May 2013.]
Hake, R.R. 2013. “Re: ‘Laptop U’ Misses the Real Story” online on the OPEN! Net-Gold archives at Post of 22 May 2013 16:26:51-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold.

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