A panel discussion Friday at UC Santa Cruz explored some key issues surrounding online classes at the college level with speakers Daphne Koller, a Stanford computer science professor who co-founded Cousera — an online platform that offers free college classes; Alison Galloway, UCSC’s executive vice chancellor and a forensic anthropology professor; longtime UCSC professor Robert Meister; education professor Rodney Ogawa; and molecular biology student Matt Hong. Koller explained Cousera and the virtues of expanding online access to higher education to people all over the world who might not otherwise be able to afford it, especially those living in developing countries. UCSC is one of 62 university campuses globally to offer some of Cousera’s free online classes. The partnership was launched in February. Meister, who is critical of Cousera, said free online university classes could pose problems with student eligibility and assessment and academic freedom for professors. Meister, a professor of History of Consciousness, said he fears platforms such as Cousera could impede public education and lead it down a road to privatization.
Read full article [here]. by Shanna McCord, The Santa Cruz Sentinel.