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“White-collar professionals, too, are subject to routinization and degradation, proceeding by the same logic that hit manual fabrication a hundred years ago: the cognitive elements of the job are appropriated from professionals, instantiated in a system or process, and then handed back to a new class of workers–clerks–who replace the professionals.”
Jonathon Rees at More or Less Bunk has an article on why most MOOCs are boring. MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses and they are currently all the rage. All around the country, universities are adding MOOCs and incorporating MOOCs in traditional classroom settings. Despite the strong push to create MOOCs, there is not a lot of evidence suggesting that they are particularly effective. Rees points out that MOOCs typically retain only about 10% of their students. Additionally, when students have MOOC elements added to their traditional classes they are also generally less satisfied. Rees argues that MOOCs are probably only useful for people who are already interested in the course material. The key problem with MOOCs is that students watch them on their computers or mobile devices which are tools of mass distraction. Right now, I have two monitors and four separate programs open on my computer. If I found a MOOC boring, I would probably check my email, surf the web, update my Facebook status, turn on a game or make a sandwich. I am still not sold on the idea that MOOCs are particularly effective.