April 22 Provost’s Lecture with Eric S. Rabkin

MOOCs: Been There, Done That, Want It Different

Eric Rabkin

Eric Rabkin is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English Language and Literature and of Art and Design at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His current research interests include fantasy and science fiction, graphic narrative, the quantitative study of culture, traditional literary criticism and theory, and academic computing.

Rabkin is especially known for his large, popular lecture courses on science fiction and fantasy, and for his many teaching innovations, including the development of the highly successful practical English writing program for those who will use writing in their work lives, and for his work at all levels, including faculty training, in research and communication applications of computer technologies.

He offered the world’s first writing-intensive MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) through the University of Michigan and Coursera (2012). He received the University Teaching Award (1990), the College of Literature, Science and the Arts Excellence in Education Award (2000) and the Golden Apple Award (2006) given annually by students for outstanding teacher at the University of Michigan.

Abstract: MOOCs offer irresistible economies for both consumers and producers, but in what ways are these people students and teachers? What are the relations between educating and credentialing? How can we educate masses without replying to individuals? Having this year designed and offered the world’s first writing-intensive MOOC (Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World), I have had the exhilarating opportunity and inevitable necessity of confronting a range of expectations, desires and fears from 40,000 “students,” numerous colleagues in several institutions and the public. Massive online education is coming. How does it feel so far? What can we do better? What should we do differently? What may and should the future of education hold? In this presentation, I aim to share my experiences and explore issues from pedagogy to plagiarism to evolving technology with the help of all concerned.

This Provost’s Lecture will be held on Monday, April 22, at 4 pm in the Charles B. Wang Center Theater.

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