On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 6:48 PM, William Stein <wst...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 6:37 PM, kcrisman <kcris...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Some of you may be interested in this article by Paul-Olivier Dehaye:
>> https://www.aaup.org/article/mooc-platforms-surveillance-and-control
> It is a rant against the main trends in modern computing.  Paul perhaps
> underestimates the value of "big data" to improving user experiences, and
> the extent to which people place a very, very high value on convenience.

I think it raises some valid concerns regarding universities'
responsibility to protect student privacy, and the difficulty of doing
so through third-party, closed source, profit-driven MOOC platforms.
Forcing students to consent (the inherent conflict between "force" and
"consent" here being intentional) to the terms of use of a MOOC
platform in order to take a course could be problematic.  I think this
is a real problem worth calling out. I think polemical lines like
"professor comments are centralized into a partner portal, which only
contributes to this groupthink through insidious self-censorship and
vain self-presentation" distract from that point.

That said, if one is very concerned about privacy and "surveillance"
issues in a MOOC, I have to assume they have never visited an American
high school :)


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