Under the Google Focused Research Award program, Carnegie Melon University received a two-year grant for research on and development of MOOCs platforms “intelligent enough to mimic the traditional classroom experience” (from the Chronicle Higher Education article: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/google-will-finance-carnegie-mellons-mooc-research/53521)
It remains unclear if the word choice was a mishap or the concept was fuzzy but readers reaction was immediate and almost unanimous (the latter does not happen often!):
-The traditional classroom experience is a dismal failure. Why try to mimic it?
-Why emullate dinosaurs in the digital world?
-Unless the MOOCs pay attention to how people actually learn, they will not be able to improve effectiveness..?. Much of “traditional” instruction has also failed to respond to our emerging understanding of how people learn.
–Dumbest thing Google has ever done
In a VB News article , Google´s reference to the project goals is more plausible:
Google and Carnegie Mellon University researchers unite to change the e-learning landscape
CMU is definitely a forward-thinking university… we think they’ll do great work on modeling learners, and making technology-based education more adaptive.