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Michael commented on Massive Open Online Research (MOOR)

This is a really clever idea.  A problem with a lot of assignments is that they don't matter, they're just irrelevant practice or too neatly wrapped up to be realistic.  Likewise, with research there are problems that need more eyes and aren't getting it.  This neatly hits both birds with one stone.


Michael commented on Are our best teachers rewarded?

You're right that there's a lot there.

I can analyze at least 4 distinct questions

1) How do people learn, particularly college students in collegiate settings?
2) What activities best help learning? I've definitely seen more than my share of confusing readings, sloggy class discussion, and pointless term papers, and things like flipped classrooms can help, but I'd be cautious about over-committing. I've seen pointless and confusing 'hands-on' practice as well.
3) What kinds of PEOPLE facilitate learning, and in what contexts.  Appreciative Education can help, but why is this pushed off on to another layer of administrators rather than dedicated, long-term professionals.  Similarly, why do we believe that we can buy and sell teaching talent like beans?
4) What kinds of institutions, patterns of life and career expectations, support people who are able to lead good classroom activities.

RateMyProfessor is a fascinating platform. Students have a pretty good sense of who knows how to teach and not, although there is a bias towards "easy A" classes, rather than anything actually challenging.  Most colleges have official teaching evaluations as well, although the questions are terribly designed.  It continually astounds me that places full of sociologists and Ed.Ds can't manage to put together a survey that actually matches any sort of research objective into who their best teachers are, and why they're better than average.