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UC Online: A First Date with Online Media

posted Feb 25, 2011, 11:06 AM by Greg Niemeyer   [ updated Feb 25, 2011, 11:38 AM ]
In my 9 years as a professor, I have yet to give a lecture which was not researched online. This means that I learn and research most of what I teach from Google image searches, Wikipedia, html source views and books, texts and games that I download.

So the internet as a whole has already subsumed traditional education and replaced it with other forms of education, or shall I say transformative intellectual engagement. As we discuss UC online, we should ask what UC could possibly contribute to a format of learning which has already advanced beyond the format of course-based learning. So perhaps online courses are an anachronism grafted onto progressive medium. If nothing else, UC online should partner with existing learning tools such as Wikipedia and Google to develop its online course presence: UC partner with industry!

UC Online cannot rely on the vague and arrogant concept that all UC faculty are brilliant, therefore online courses will be brilliant. The internet is much more about "what have you done for me lately" than about "I am certified brilliant". Internet metrics show what is interesting and relevant: drama, action, change. So the very core of what makes an internet destination good is different from the core of what makes an educational institution good. To create a meaningful destination for online education, UC needs to forget that it has a sterling reputation, and instead needs to think of itself as having a first date, with all the effort and anxiety that comes with it.