“How MOOCs preserve the jobs of dull and boring professors”

A perverse but growing trend among students who have learned how to compensate for dull, uninspiring lectures:

“Here’s an open secret:  many doctoral students enroll in the statistics courses required by their programs, courses taught by dull and uninspiring lecturers, but then take the free OLI statistics course, which is strategic and problem-based and graduated to one’s skills.  They then ace the final exam in their actual program (the one for which they pay tuition).  The prof thinks he’s a genius, but he’s been replaced by a computer screen.”

We are entering a period in which is enabling teachers who haven’t updated their lecture slides in a decade, and cause their students to think about changing their major, to perpetuate their behavior. The higher-ed system is ripe for disruption and dis-intermediation, but it’s likely to take longer than it should, due to the increasing array of online alternatives to Professor Borehead.  To read Cathy Davidson’s full (and thoughtful) post, click here:



About Startup Angel

Gordon is a 25 year veteran of start-ups in the field of digital education and learning management, having founded an e-learning software company (Meliora Systems) in1988. He took the start-up from the bootstrapped stage to an IPO in 1998, through a merger with Paul Allen’s company, Asymetrix Learning, now part of SumTotal Systems, a leading LMS provider. Since leaving the company in 2000, he has spent his time working with early stage ventures in the ed-tech sector, including both K-12 and higher-ed markets, as well as start-ups developing innovative offerings in the digital publishing, virtual worlds/MMO games for kids, and mobile learning areas. He is also a mentor at Georgia Tech's ATDC as well as Managing Director of Vernon Bridge Ventures, an early stage capital/advisory firm. He serves on the advisory boards of Excelegrade, Evirx, Rapid LD, and Proving Ground. He is also Past President of Atlanta Technology Angels. He serves on the selection committees for Venture Atlanta and TAG Top 40. He also serves as a guest lecturer and business plan competition judge at Georgia State, Emory and University of Georgia business schools. He has made angel investments in mobile learning, online language training and employee wellness companies, and in virtual world start-ups.
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