I was looking at the #octel video on the Saylor Foundation and my first thought was – oh there are no lecturers at all.
This made me realise that a fear that academics have been telling me about for years has finally happened. To learn more we conducted this interview with a frightened academic …
We had to write “elements of the … approach that you think could be applicable” and “problems you might anticipate with the approach” now I am a learning technologist and for the things I actually teach then Sue has already written an excellent post.
So instead I am going to think about how the approach would work for academics at the University I work for. To simply offer what Saylor offer; a well designed course of materials with no academic contact would not be acceptable to our students (particularly with no certification).
However used as part of a course I think the approach has potential. A well designed course which uses open content where possible that students can work their way through would work well with the flipped classroom model. Our students could study the readings and then discuss them and work on problems in lecture time (see Eric Mazur for an idea of how this works). Putting it online and sharing “CC by” would also be good for sharing, the academic community and the reputation of the University (I would have to check how happy the Uni would be with this approach!).
The value added of a University is the contact with brilliant minds (the lecturers and other students) how much better is that contact if it is a conversation rather than a boring monologue. Content can clearly be found on the net for free, so simply providing content will not be sufficient (even if the person providing it is brilliant – because there is also brilliant stuff for free on the net).