Monthly Archives: December 2013

What would I like to change in higher education?

As I wrote in my previous post about MOOCs survey, I think one of the factor that can change Higher education are online courses. As I said before if MOOCs change such that more people can use them, then They can make a revolution in HE in future.
Another thing that I think may change in future is related to costs of education. Based on the data, low income level students have lower opportunity to enter into higher education and one of the main reason of that is about high costs of higher education. I think we need a revolution to find out a better system deriving costs of higher education.

Moreover, future higher education needs implementing more interdisciplinary programs. The border of sciences expanded these days and real problems of our world such as Air Pollution, Access to drinkable water, Poverty, Inequality and so on needs people from different fields and for instance Economics by itself cannot answer to questions related to poverty. So we need people to know about other fields and we need to design new programs which serve various disciplines.

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Faculty Statement

In my opinion “Being a Faculty member” means compilation of duties and contribution values to the place I have served. To me being a faculty member means to think about more about ethics and justice and tries to spread these values to my society. The duties which are important for me as a faculty members, are Teaching, Research, Engagement in the Academia and Learning. As a faculty member both teaching and learning are essential for me. I want to build my teaching philosophy such that a mutual learning atmosphere happen in my class. To gain this goal, emphasizing on learning is very vital. If I don’t pay attention to learning in my philosophical point of view towards being faculty member, then “Mutual Learning” cannot be happened.
Teaching: For me “Teaching” is one of the important task that a faculty member should do. Being a teacher is something routine in the academe but it is important to be a “good” teacher. To me, being a good teacher means providing a mutual respectful situation in class for learning, critical thinking. Providing a mutual respectful atmosphere is a very vital task that should be done mainly by a teacher rather than students. It is important for a good teacher to apply “morality” and “ethical issues” in the class, office hours, mentoring and advising and so on. Having a good and moral behavior both inside and outside of the class provides senses of “trust” and “respect” among students and If students trust to their teacher, they can firstly learn better and secondly they can respect to the whole educational structure. As a result “mutual respect” will be borne.
Mentoring, Advising, doing Research: The second important task that a faculty member should do in academe is mentoring and advising graduate students in their research. In addition, I think I should find out motivated undergraduate students and encourage them for starting research. To me, mentoring or advising does not summarize for graduate students. Mentoring mainly starts in class while I teach. Again “ethics” plays a crucial role in this task. As a faculty I should pay attention more than any other persons to research misconduct, plagiarism, falsification and so on. If I pay attention to these issues, then “academic ethical values” pass to my students and they will learn the essence of “ethics”.
Engagement in the Academia, Service: In addition to all aforesaid tasks, I imagine an ideal faculty member as a person who sever his/her university passionately. Each faculty member in my opinion should engage in several tasks other than teaching and research. These tasks can be from helping student clubs to administrative issues.

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Survey: MOOC Students Are Elite, Young and Male

Based on the previous blog post, I searched more about online courses and MOOCs. I found a survey which is done by UPenn and based on this survey, MOOCs users are mostly come from wealthier families. In fact, this survey shows that MOOCs cannot get to its goal which was about spreading knowledge for all people. this survey is based on the bout 35000 students who participated in Coursera. The researcher found that most of these students have college degrees and come from a wealthier families and participated in online courses to improve themselves in their future careers. This trend is much worse in developing countries. In countries such as India, Russia, Brazil and so on, almost 80% of MOOCs students come from the top 6% of society. this survey shows that this method is far from its goal. people from disadvantaged part of society still do not have access to free education via MOOCs. Some hardware facilities like the ADSL Internet and computer are main problem for poorer people. In addition people who want to attend in online classes in Coursera for instance, need to have some college educations which are not attainable for most of disadvantaged people of poor countries. Ezekiel J. Emanuel said “Far from realizing the high ideals of their advocates, MOOCs seem to be reinforcing the advantages of the ‘haves’ rather than educating the ‘have-nots.’ .”

mooc

But we should contemplate that this project is in its early stage and all of its major providers emphasize that we will find a way to “figure out how to use technology to improve educational outcomes, particularly for the most needy students.”

I hope this dream comes to truth as soon as possible!

if you are interested in reading of whole report of this survey, please click here

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