Event Information:

  • Tue

    [Panel] Perspectives on Online Courses from the Trenches

    12:00pm-1:00pmNQ 3100 (The Ehrlicher Room), North Quad, 105 S. State St.

    Chris, Colleen, and Chuck

    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 (Dr. Christopher Brooks) will facilitate a discussion with two panelists: Dr. Chuck Severance and Dr. Colleen van Lent, who are both popular MOOC instructors. Join us with your questions about online courses, and what they mean for students of higher education.

    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. Colleen van Lent
    Colleen van Lent is a Lecturer IV at the University of Michigan School of Information, where she teaches various technology-oriented courses including introductory programming and Web development. Colleen's previous jobs include Associate Professor at California State University and positions at NASA JPL, the Naval Research Lab, and the NSA. She received her BS from Kent State University Honors College in Computer Science, and an MS and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, also in Computer Science. Her thesis was on Artificial Intelligence applications on the Nursebot Project, a robotic assistant for the elderly. Her honors include being chosen as a National Physical Sciences Consortium Fellow and a NASA Faculty Fellow. Colleen has always emphasized the idea of technology for everybody. To that end she has worked creating courses for education majors to learn robotics, as well other CS curriculum for non-majors. Her current focus is outreach with elementary and middle school students to learn problem-solving, coding, and design. She has published two recent books for children, "Web Design with HTML" and more "Web Design with HTML".

    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.

    Please RSVP by Feb. 7 (Sun.) noon. Everyone is welcome -- light lunch will be served on a first-come-first-served basis (add to calendar).

    This presentation was recorded and you can view it here