MOOCs, costs, and Dan Ariely

Deven Desai

Deven Desai is an associate professor of law and ethics at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. He was also the first, and to date, only Academic Research Counsel at Google, Inc., and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the Yale Law School. Professor Desai’s scholarship examines how business interests, new technology, and economic theories shape privacy and intellectual property law and where those arguments explain productivity or where they fail to capture society’s interest in the free flow of information and development. His work has appeared in leading law reviews and journals including the Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, and U.C. Davis Law Review.

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2 Responses

  1. Frank Pasquale says:

    I like the last analogy about “fishing on one’s own,” and would add a couple points to support it:

    1) I’ve listened to MOOCs from Yale and Harvard, and I’ve taken classes at each. The MOOC experience is a pale shadow of the undergraduate course it is meant to mimic. Let’s not pretend we are offering the MOOC-takers the types of assessment, networking, community, and credential that those physically attending the courses have. I’m sure people taking Shiller’s or Geanakopolous’s courses at Yale built networks that will be incredibly valuable for careers in finance. I listened to nearly all their lectures, and did not do the same.

    Similarly, Tamar Gendler is a brilliant lecturer, and it’s wonderful that she is online, but I don’t think I’d have the tools to appreciate her if I had not actually taken philosophy courses and written papers in them. Same with all the LSE podcasts I listen to: the foundation of work in a library and with TAs and peers was essential.

    2) Is the credential gap merely a function of elitism? Maybe not, for as this author shows, in several MOOCs, the “providers don’t want to scare off potential students with too much work”:

  2. As much as there is real potential upside here … there are still serious issues … retention and design being pretty big ones …

    See this post for more …