The LSU Top 5 #24

This is the 24th of our weekly links to the top 5 interesting bits and pieces we’ve found from around the internet.

(Linking doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with these articles!)

The dirty little secret of online learning: Students are bored and dropping out – Quartz

With incredibly high drop-out rates, there’s something not quite right about MOOCs. This article looks at where they might be faltering and hints at how they might improve. It’s not that MOOCs providers don’t understand the problem; it’s just that fitting together all the small elements – individually quite obviously a good thing – is incredibly difficult.


This is my son. He speaks Greek.Letters of Note

This 1957 letter, to billionaire Ted Turner from his businessman-father, speaks to the conflicts parents and children face as the children start making their own decisions – specifically in choosing what to study. In it, Ted Turner’s father writes of his disgust and disappointment in his son’s choice of classics as a major.

He starts:

My dear son,

I am appalled, even horrified, that you have adopted Classics as a major. As a matter of fact, I almost puked on the way home today.

And ends:

In my opinion, it won’t do much to help you learn to get along with people in this world. I think you are rapidly becoming a jackass, and the sooner you get out of that filthy atmosphere, the better it will suit me.

I hope I am right. You are in the hands of the Philistines, and dammit, I sent you there. I am sorry.




It’s MOOAs, Not MOOCs, That Will Transform Higher EducationThe Chronicle
If universities are going to make courses massive, open and online, why not have massive open online administration? Though posted in the humour category, this might be one of those ideas that starts life as a joke and ends up a reality.

Not only would putting administration online cut costs and raise profits, it would also cut down on wasted faculty hours at meetings. We faculty could log on and follow administration online, just like the students in MOOCs log on to learn. And like MOOC students, if we didn’t find the administrators entertaining or educational enough, we could stop logging on and just become freer agents in the marketplace of knowledge.


Employability agenda isn’t working and Undergraduates ‘should be taught entrepreneurship’ – both Times Higher Education

These articles, published two days apart, conflict with and support each other. The first describes and argues against the introduction of purely employment-focused content into academic courses and mocks the idea of “employability modules”, while the second reports the arguments of the former UK advisor for enterprise for the need to “instil the very concept of enterprise” into undergraduates.

Link 1 (Employability…)

Link 2 (Undergraduates…)

Jane Goodall’s ‘Seeds of Hope’ book contains borrowed passages without attributionThe Washington Post

After last week’s links to articles about plagiarism in Vietnam, we have this article showing that plagiarism, intentional or otherwise, can happen to the best of us.

Judging an author’s culpability in cases of literary borrowing is complicated, said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute and co-author of a book on press ethics, “Elements of Journalism.” Questions of intent, haste, carelessness, number and length of echoed passages all come into play.


We love hearing your thoughts on these articles, so feel free to comment below!

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