Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rethinking Professor Snodgrass

A recent posting on this blog replayed President Yudof's comment that online courses have to be more than putting a camera in the back of the room and letting Professor Snodgrass drone on. You can replay his comments below for your listening pleasure.  But maybe the Snodgrass approach has merit at this time.

Note that UC-Berkeley, among other universities, has put courses that essentially are video recordings of courses on YouTube for free. Anyone can view them.  It's a relatively costless production method.

You can find one such course at:

At a modest cost, those now "taking" such courses could be offered exams along the lines of the old 1950s Sunrise Semester TV model that we have also noted in past postings. The simple fact is that no one really knows how online courses will evolved. You can find articles speculating about how the various platforms will cover costs and what the relationship will be between universities providing course content will have with those platforms in recent articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Before making commitments that may be difficult to unravel, why not start with Professor Snodgrass and the simple approach?  He may be droning but it's cheap and does not lock us into some expensive commitment that may prove not be be viable.

Our most recent Sunrise Semester TV history posting is at [But there were other posts before going back to 2010 which you can find using the blog search engine and "sunrise."  We also noted that before Snodgrass was on TV, he was giving credit courses by radio in the 1920s:

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