Meet Your New Instructor: Matt Damon
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  • JeffWeimer

    I think Matt Damon will only want to do a course on “A People’s History.”

  • quality service

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  • Happycrow

    Speaking as a former professor, my response to the disgruntled would be “deal with it.” You need expertise to answer questions which come from a lecture. All you need to deliver a lecture is good presentation skills and an ability to connect with your audience — two skills that many of my former peers blatantly lacked. Any lecturer worth his salt keeps his audience so engrossed that they forget they’re actually learning things until you see them spontaneously yakking about it with their fellow students after class.

  • Fat_Man

    WRM: I agree with you, but I would like to push the point further. A mere lecture is is a linear text. Just adding slides with bullet points does not help much (although it does relieve compulsive note takers). Having a capable actor read the lecture helps a little.

    The video dimension needs to be more fully exploited to maximize the MOOC as a learning tool. Examples are around. Here is one from Cal Tech, and it is more than 20 years old:

    “The Mechanical Universe…and Beyond” is a of 52 thirty-minute videotape programs covering the basic topics of an introductory university physics course. The series was originally produced as a broadcast telecourse by the California Institute of Technology and Intelecom, Inc. with program funding from the Annenberg/CPB Project.

    Each program in the series opens and closes with Caltech Professor David Goodstein providing philosophical, historical and often humorous insight into the subject at hand while lecturing to his freshman physics class. The Mechanical Universe contains hundreds of computer animation segments, created by Dr. James F. Blinn, as the primary tool of instruction. Dynamic location footage and historical re-creations are also used to stress the fact that science is a human endeavor.

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