Friday, May 1, 2020

Missing from MOOCs

I remember being in a class with a prof who was still teaching while getting radiation for cancer. He was not in good shape, but he’d come in smelling of aftershave, because he had taken the time to shave before class. You can’t get that from a MOOC.

I remember smoke breaks with another prof in the hallway during long once-a-week classes. Two or three of us with cigarettes, one guy with a pipe, our prof with Winston 100s, always for some reason in a Marlboro 100s pack. Or was it Marlboros in a Winston pack? Either way, you can’t get that from a MOOC. But you can’t get that anywhere now anyway. No smoking.

What do you remember that you can’t get from a MOOC?

[That’s just two. Elaine said I should mention the knock and weather. I’ll add unerased blackboards and pre-class blackboard art by students. And ice cream. And more ice cream. Somebody stop me before I remember again.]

comments: 5

Fresca said...

Flirting! How can students fall in love when they're alone?

Anonymous said...

Chemistry labs without good ventilation and a haze permeating the room. Or chemicals that stained your hands and smelled for almost a week. Students that accidentally pulled the fire alarm. Having class outside because it was so nice after a brutal weather.


Elaine Fine said...

During one semester of my rural community college teaching there was a cricket who lived in the walls of the classroom. During the class when I played a recording of "El Grillo," the famous Renaissance Josquin de Pres choral piece about a cricket being a great singer, the cricket sang along. And s/he did it for all my classes that day. This is the kind of learning experience that can't be had through distance learning.

Elaine said...

MOOC Online Class, I guess, but MO?

Anonymous said...

And you miss that opportunity to hope the instructor doesn't show up at a class and then you all decide how long you have to wait! We were brutal-5 minutes for graduate teaching assistants, 10 for associate profs, and 15 for tenured.

Or going out for beers after chem labs with the teaching assistants.

Or where you sit in a class and it irks you when someone else takes "your" seat.

For me, there is so much one misses when you are not in a classroom.

I did go read about the nanodegrees which weren't impressive to me. Perhaps if you already have a degree in that field and want extra learning.