MISC Panel: Perspectives on Online Courses from the Trenches

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

The Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

Two years ago, Georgia Tech began its first online-only master’s degree. Meanwhile, Massive Open Online Courses such as those offered by Coursera, edX, and Udacity have seen tens of millions of course enrollments across the globe. These courses have garnered significant debate and attention in higher education, on the one hand celebrated as disruptive revolution and on the other condemned as a failed experiment innovating and democratizing education. Are online courses a threat to the traditional residential university experience? Do they alleviate inequalities in education, or provide more opportunities to an already educated population? Does pedagogy drive technology, or does technology decide pedagogy?

In this panel, educational technology researcher Christopher Brooks will facilitate a discussion with two panelists:  UMSI clinical associate professor Chuck Severance, who is a popular MOOC instructor, and  Heather Newman, who is currently enrolled in Georgia Tech’s master’s program while continuing a full-time job at UMSI. 


Dr. Christopher Brooks

Dr. Christopher Brooks is a Research Assistant Professor with the School of Information, and Director of Learning Analytics and Research with the office of Digital Education and Innovation. He studies educational technology and teaching and learning in higher education, and has been involved in research and experimentation looking at how students interact in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). His research focuses on applying data-driven approaches to the analysis of educational technology, including data mining, machine learning, and computational data science.

Dr. Charles R. Severance

Dr. Charles R. Severance is a Clinical Associate Professor and teaches in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He is the Chair of the Sakai Project Management Committee (PMC). and works for Longsight, Inc. as Sakai Chief Strategist. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation and the Chief Architect of the Sakai Project and worked with the IMS Global Learning Consortium promoting and developing standards for teaching and learning technology. Charles teaches two popular MOOCs to students worldwide on the Coursera platform: Internet History, Technology, and Security and Programming for Everybody and is a long-time advocate of open educational resources to empower teachers.

Heather Newman

Heather Newman heads up marketing and communications for the School of Information, handling publicity, branding, social/Web presences and promotion. She's a current student in the Online Master of Science in Computer Science program at Georgia Institute of Technology, and writes for Forbes and VentureBeat in her spare time. Before her university life, she spent two decades as a senior writer, reporter and columnist for daily newspapers and technology magazines, covering tech and gaming.

RSVP by Sunday, February 7 at noon. A light lunch will be served on a first-come-first-served basis.

MISC connects researchers studying human-computer interaction, social computing, technology design, and computer-supported cooperative work across the University of Michigan. The group meets weekly through the academic year on Tuesdays at noon-1pm, usually in NQ 1255. During the Fall term, lectures are common; the Winter features debates and other activities. The group is on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Youtube.