Is Paying Adjuncts Crap Killing Technological Innovation? | Hapgood [...]

Considering this question posed by Mike Caulfield:

But if we’re wondering why education is so resistant to technological change maybe it’s time to look at how our use of cheap labor enables that resistance? (Source)

-i am reminded of my recent experience of a MOOC offered by Coursera, and what struck me as a breakthrough that made the whole thing fly in terms of both student experience AND institutional economics.

The key? As Coursera CEO Daphne Koller explains in her 2012 TED Talk -relevant info at mark 11’13” in the transcript- it is Peer Grading.

I for one had my doubts about this, until experiencing it myself as a student in their course on learning how to code 2D arcade games (from primitive Pong to classic Asteroids -my personal fave 🙂 in Python. Course design was great, collateral material (videos, online GUI builder, etc) all top-notch… But probably the most educational aspect of the experience for me was reviewing evaluations of my projects submitted by student peers, and reviewing the 5 peer projects i had to grade each time i submitted one of my own, before i could harvest any peer feedback.

So, although it was probably the cost of one-to-one tutorial feedback (on stuff that is not machine-gradable) that held back the state of the art for so long, this way of leveraging student labor-power for free was pretty ingenious (“evil genius,” one might even say, considering that it was almost a form of blackmail! :-).

Wikity users can copy this article to their own site for editing, annotation, or safekeeping. If you like this article, please help us out by copying and hosting it.

Destination site (your site)
Posted on