The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
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The Case for Coursera

I'm also a scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. During the daytime I am co-founder of Ourboox. In the evening I Read More
Member Since
Oct 2013
Published Books
1472

Yesterday, Dr. (Prof. too) Daphne Koller came to visit.

To visit Tel Aviv University, that is.

I have been wanting to meet her for a long time.

I think she is a true visionary.

I am not sure that she understands that Coursera (or its competitors) are going to make their current ‘partners’, the universities, extinct or irrelevant. Or both.

 

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

I went and sat in the very first row (something I rarely every do).

Idan Almog and the riffraff at the back called to me to join them.

But I declined. I was on a mission.

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

She was the guest of Tel Aviv University.

Can you imagine that Coursera has partnered with TAU?

It’s like Tinkerbell inviting an elephant to dance.

The elephant prepared a list of the e-mails of all the participants.  Cool.

But gave everyone a printed copy. On paper.

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

The elephant changed the location of the event and didn’t notify the participants by e-mail, although they had all the e-mails.

That’s par for the course.

They had a panel, with names. Universities have done that for a millenium.

Don’t mistake me. Elephants are clever. TAU is a clever elephant. Just that they are set in their ways. The pre-internet ways. As Prof. Raanan Rein put it, universities are a success because they’ve been doing the right things for a thousand years. Hmmm….

 

 

 

 

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

It was a very old-fashioned type university event. Lots of formal presentations with talking heads and powerpoint.

Maybe Daphne figured that since she was talking to the natives, she should do it their way. But isn’t Coursera about the new way?

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

Daphne showed us slides charting the successes of Coursera. What was relatively new was what is happening in Singapore and Malaysia. Students who successfully complete a career-oriented Coursera course receive $500 from the government. That is cool.

So Coursera is becoming career-oriented. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, isn’t that why people go to universities? Should someone tell them the truth – that universities were created to allow professors to do research, and the education of our future generation is collateral damage. At best.

And as a result getting a university education is becoming less relevant to getting a job and having an exciting future?

 

 

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

The event was hosted by Prof. Raanan Rein who is VP of the elephant. He is actually a very cool guy. He is an expert on the Jews of Argentina. He writes a lot of books (over thirty). I wish he’d write one for Ourboox, I’ll speak to him.

Does Raanan realize that companies like Coursera are turning the elephants of the world (universities and colleges everywhere) into white elephants and perhaps further downstream, dinosaurs?

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

Actually all that Coursera has to do is create the university of the future. Get the best charming lecturers (Coursera is far from there, most of the lecturers are erudite but boring talking heads), select the curricula, make the material multimedia, engaging, multidiscipilinary and inspiring, ,and start to give university degrees.

 

And to make it better, if Coursera teams up with Chegg (Courchera? Courchegga?) in addition to the best lecture material in the world, students will have access to individual help every time you need it.

It’s a no-brainer. Daphne, are you listening? Ohad?

 

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

Daphne, I know that this means competing with your current partners. Shucks. But if you don’t do it, someone else will. Or is.

 

In the meantime, it was great meeting you. I mean really great.

 

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The Case for Coursera by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
This free e-book is brought to you by
Ourboox.com

Ourboox is the world's simplest platform for creating and sharing amazing ebooks.

You too can become one of our 75,000 authors.

Join us now and start creating your own books right away.

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