Much MOOC-iness: A link round-up

Another busy week around here with school and everything else, and I’ll probably post later this week at least one more time about E-learning and Digital Cultures as that MOOC wraps up.  But for now, I thought I’d post a whole bunch of links I’ve come across this week. In no particular order (other than how they’re open in my browser):

  • “The History of Distance Learning- Inforgraphic” from something called “eLearning Industry.” A pretty selective “history” but a history nonetheless. Among the fun facts is the claim that in 1728, “The first recorded instance of distance learning occurs in Boston, USA, when a ‘Caleb Phillips’ advertises private correspondence courses in short hand in the Boston Gazette.”
  • “New courses from Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley,” which is a blog post from “The Do It Yourself Scholar” about the edX consortium.  I haven’t been paying much attention to edX, but they’ve been focusing heavily in things like computer science, they’re only offering a few courses, and they are a not for profit.
  • I learned about this via Stephen Downes, but this link is to Audrey Watters’ blog Hack Education: “Coursera, the other Stanford MOOC Startup, Officially Launches with More Poetry Classes, Fewer Robo-Graders.” This was actually posted back in April 2012 so I’m not quite sure why Downes is posting it now, other than to point out the irony of what Coursera is not doing well.
  • From CHE comes “How EdX Plans to Earn, and Share, Revenue From Its Free Online Courses.” Even though EdX is a not for profit, it still has to sustain itself, so they need to make some money. Basically, edX (and is that an e or an E?) is going to charge universities for using its platform, which (the article claims) is in these universities’ interests because of the cost of production of these courses and such. That doesn’t make any sense to me because online courses are basically a web site and I think MIT can host its own web sites.  Two other bits from this piece I’ll quote here:

Both edX models offer higher shares to universities than agreements with Coursera do, but only once edX has collected its minimum payment. Coursera offers universities 6 percent to 15 percent of the gross revenue generated by each of their MOOCs on its platform, as well as 20 percent of the profits generated by the “aggregate set of courses provided by the university.”

There is no minimum payment to Coursera—meaning universities are guaranteed a cut of any revenue for their MOOCs on Coursera, even if the company offers a smaller piece of the pie than edX does.


The details of edX’s financial arrangements do not answer the crucial question of how the MOOCs will make money in the first place—and, in edX’s case, whether courses that do make money will make enough that universities will see a cut.

The organization is still “in start-up mode,” said Mr. Agarwal. “We don’t quite know what the key source of revenue will be.”

  • From Inside Higher Ed comes “Twice as Many MOOCs,” which is about both Coursera and edX adding more partners and extending the international reach of MOOCs. Among other things, this article quotes folks from both Coursera and edX that they want these courses to be counted for credit, but even beyond that, the article claims “MOOCs are proving useful” for providing “inverted classroom” experiences (e.g., watch the lectures online, come to class to do stuff) and because “precocious high school students” are using MOOCs to make their college applications stronger. Ah yes, that’s a revenue stream….
  • In a related story, CHE’s “Competing MOOC Providers Expand Into New Territory– and Each Other’s,” which points out there are three universities– Rice, U of Toronto, and a place in Switzerland– that have partnered with both Coursera and edX.
  • “North Korea launches two MOOCs.”  Funny.
  • From Trent Batson comes “Common Misperceptions of MOOCs and Open Learning.” He says he’s trying to take on the NYTimes editorial “The Trouble With Online College,” but I don’t think that’s quite right.  I think Batson is pointing out some of the potential benefits of some of the “open learning” that can come from MOOCs; I think the NYTimes was pointing out that MOOCs (and online teaching generally) are not a solution to the problems of higher “education.” Regardless, this is a good piece I will want to come back to for some upcoming talks because Batson too is reflecting on his experiences as a MOOC student.
  • From the blog iterating toward openness comes “MOOCS and Digital Diploma Mills: Forgetting Our History,” which is basically a lot of still very relevant quotes from David Noble. Another good resource for some of these talks and other things about MOOCs and such. I don’t completely agree with Noble, but I think the basic point that Noble’s critique of online teaching 15 years ago is still relevant.
  • Stephen Downes’ “Beyond the Buzz, Where are MOOCs Really Going?” which is his critique of a Wired magazine article about MOOCs. As Downes’ points out, Wired doesn’t exactly have a stellar record when it comes to predicting the future, as is the case with MSM generally.
  • Finally and also from Stephen Downes, “When MOOCs melt down,” which is about the story behind the story of Richard McKenzie abandoning his MOOC.  Downes is talking about this CHE blog post, “When MOOCs melt down.” The short version is it would appear that McKenzie didn’t exactly quit because of lazy students but rather he was driven out of the MOOC because he was a bad teacher. Downes suggests this shows one of the strengths of Coursera in exposing bad teaching, but I think it is a good example of how Coursera isn’t paying a lot of attention to the quality of their courses.


Bonus post: About some recent MOOCs in the news

There are many other things I should be doing other than posting here again today, but there were a couple of things that came through the intertubes at me about MOOCs that I have to note here. If nothing else, I suspect both topics will figure into upcoming MOOC talks.

First, from CHE comes “Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching.” It seems to be an emerging story, but here’s a quote from the lead:

Students regularly drop out of massive open online courses before they come to term. For a professor to drop out is less common.

But that is what happened on Saturday in “Microeconomics for Managers,” a MOOC offered by the University of California at Irvine through Coursera. Richard A. McKenzie, an emeritus professor of enterprise and society at the university’s business school, sent a note to his students announcing that he would no longer be teaching the course, which was about to enter its fifth week.

“Because of disagreements over how to best conduct this course, I’ve agreed to disengage from it, with regret,” Mr. McKenzie wrote.

I’m going to assume that this is again evidence that the people who are teaching these MOOCs are doing it out of the ego boost they get for teaching a class of tens of thousands er, I mean the joy they get from extending education learning to tens of thousands around the world and to participate in the experiment. I would assume that if McKenzie were being paid to do this, Coursera or UC-Irvine or both would have not allowed him to simply quit like this.

But it would appear that McKenzie was having a hard time with the “uninformed” and “superfluous” responses in the discussion forums, the fewer than 2% of students who participated in the discussions, and the complaints students had about his assigning a textbook that cost money and the workload requirements.  In other words, McKenzie was trying to maintain the same standards for his MOOC as he would for the same college class at UC Irvine.

Some of the comments in the discussion on the CHE piece suggest that he’s being naive if he thinks/thought that students taking this free MOOC ought to be held to the same standards as students in a regular course, that he’s being unreasonable, etc. Now, I don’t know anything about Richard McKenzie— I don’t know if he is/was considered one of the great professors of economics at UC Irvine, if he’s considered a grumpy crank who teaches classes no one can pass, or what. He’s obviously a well-published scholar.  But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a college professor teaching a MOOC with the premise that the class ought to be every bit as rigorous and “real” as any other class.  And it is again another example to me of how Coursera et al aren’t ready for “prime-time.”

Second, there’s this post from Cathy Davidson, “If MOOCs are the answer, what is the question?” and this response from Sui Fai John Mak, “Discourse on MOOCs: where should it be heading?” Among other things, Davidson points out that the problems of the rising costs of higher education predate MOOCs by a long time and there is no evidence at all that MOOCs will have any impact to change that, either.  At the same time, MOOCs demonstrate that people want higher education, and not just in applied stuff like computer programming. Here’s a quote:

Enter the MOOC: whatever else one may think about MOOCS, their vast popularity proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt that seemingly everyone wants–really, really wants–more not less higher learning. Has anyone else noticed that the tone of the conversation has now shifted from “is college worth it?” to “how can we make necessary, important, invaluable learning available to the widest number of people for the lowest cost”?    I certainly have.

Those who hate MOOCs and reduce them solely and only to a device by the neoliberal rich to diminish the role of the tenured professor should at least be using the vast popularity of online courses to argue the value of a college education.   It’s demonstrable.  It’s massive.

And here’s a good quote from Mak’s response that I think makes a lot of sense:

The current scenario indicates that we are at a state of fragmentation in the midst of Higher Education, where MOOCs, OERs, privatization, partnerships, alliances, and co-operation and collaboration are just part of these fragmentation and disruption movement.  The actual tsunami may not even be the MOOCs, but the technological, economic and social “revolution” uprising for fundamental human rights to Higher Education at a free or affordable cost and a quest for innovative and improved Higher Education.

George Siemens in his response to the fragmentation of Higher Education highlights the current trend of MOOCs and the possible future scenarios of Higher Education.

And I include that link to the George Siemens talk because that’s just more smart stuff to listen to/think about.


Halfway through #edcmooc, whatever it is

A couple of Fridays ago (I originally started writing this post about a week and a half ago), I went to the reading group that my colleague Derek Mueller is sponsoring/hosting right now. It’s been a good bit of outreach with small but enthusiastic groups of grad students and faculty, often faculty from other programs in my department. This last time, we talked about Derrida’s “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences.”  I can’t pretend to say that I completely grasp what Derrida was talking about in this essay, but in the nutshell, it’s one of the essays in the early Derrida that signals the beginning of poststructualism.  Among many other things, Derrida is talking about the paradox of “the center” being both within the structure and outside of it, the problem of finding language to describe this condition, and that all thinkers are borrowers (“bricoleurs”) in how we put ideas together.  It’s early writing/thinking that speaks in part to deconstruction.

These reading group gatherings have been interesting discussions in part because faculty from other programs often don’t quite get why people in composition and rhetoric would be interested in things like poststructualist theory or object-oriented ontology or what-have-you. Part of what we talked about during this talk was essentially how poststructualism has influenced things like post-process theory, writing as an “assembly” process, etc., etc. But one of the things that occur to me as I think about all this in relation to the E-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC.  Because it seems to me that part of the problem here is these folks are trying to disrupt educational structure while being within it, we’re at a loss to find language that describes what this is (a “course?” a “meeting?” a chance to interact?), and both of these in turn raises problems and questions about just what it is we’re doing here. Other than clearly composing an elaborate bricolage.

Week 2 built off of the dystopia of week 1 with the them of “looking to the future,” only the future is still looking kind of dystopian to me. As someone pointed out (I think one of the instructors), dystopia makes for much better stories than utopia, and that certainly is true in the videos. For example, both “A Day Made of Glass” and “Productivity Future Vision” might as well be called “cool stuff rich people will get with new technology.” Then there are the other readings, which for me are an example of the problem of the multiple levels of audience/purpose of the course.  On the other end of the complexity spectrum, week 2 included Rebecca Johnston’s “Salvation or destruction: Metaphors of the Internet,” which again plays off of this reductive binary between dystopia and utopia (but does so by a discursive analysis of newspaper editorials),  and the difficult (but interesting) paper by Julian Bleecker, “Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for Networked Objects– Cohabiting with Pigeons, Arphids, and Aibos in the Internet of Things.”

One of the few texts that was specifically about education/pedagogy issues was Gardner Campbell’s “Ecologies of Yearning,” which was the keynote address at Open Ed ’12. I think Alex Reid has a good blog post about this here, so I’ll just point to that. Though I’ll return to Reid’s reading of that talk in a moment.

I guess these selections are okay, but given that this is supposed to be an “introductory” course and one (at least in part) about “E-learning,” I’m again disappointed in what’s here.  As I mentioned, the videos are the kind of thing I might show in a first year writing class because of their simplicity and “red herring”-esque dichotomy.  In other words, this “dystopia v. utopia” thing is an obvious false choice. Interestingly, in the Google Hangout discussion forum with the instructors a couple of weeks ago, one of them said that they were trying to generate exactly that kind of conversation: that is, they knew they were presenting a false dichotomy and wanted to play off of the conversation generated by that false comparison. The problem is that’s an approach that works with 25 (or 50 or maybe even 200) students but not with 40,000.  Along with these too simple encounters, we’ve also got texts (like Bleecker’s and Campbell’s) that are far beyond an introductory level course. Bleecker is giving my MA students a lot of fits, frankly.  I suppose the goal of these various different levels of reading is to encourage different levels of interaction, but to me the effect is just to confuse the focus of the course.

And there is still very little presence from the instructors/professors/organizers.  Clearly, this has been a conscious and careful choice: they are trying to disrupt the teacher-centered, “sage on the stage” model of a lecturing talking head delivering knowledge via a video. Instead, what we have here is a collection of readings, some basic framing guidelines for discussion, a final assignment (more on that will be coming in the next week or so), and a space for the discussion forums, which are of course quite a mixed bag. The instruction team has done a couple of Google Hangout live forums where they talk about things having to do with the previous week, but other than that, they are not really “there” a lot.

Interestingly enough, one of the better discussion threads is in the general discussion area and it’s called “Where are the professors?” (I presume the only way to see that is to actually be in the class, but if you’re curious, there’s nothing wrong with registering for free and then going to have a look). The topic of the role of the professor in a MOOC is being debated and a couple of the instructors– Christine Sinclair and Sian Bayne– are pretty clear in responding that they are attempting to avoid the “guru professor” mode and are purposefully trying to present themselves as being more of a “connective MOOC” rather than the so-called “xMOOC” which is the commercial model of Coursera.

An admirable experiment. But from my point of view, there are at least two problems here.

First, the connective/knowledge generating MOOC strikes me as an awkward fit within the Coursera framework, especially since I am certain most people who signed up for this class were expecting something with a bit more leadership and focus. I know that’s what I was expecting/assuming when I built participating in this MOOC into my graduate course.  If I knew this was just going to be as decentered (and atypical of Coursera MOOCs) as it is, I might have picked a different one for our class to follow.  Second, because of a lack of a “center” here with no professor (or professors) keeping the group on task with some kind of lecture or regular interaction and because of the size of the group, this all seems a lot more like a “learning opportunity” akin to a conference, an emailing list or messaging board, or a call-in radio show. Which is again an example as to why I don’t think teaching scales.

I think this all begs the question: just what is this MOOC, anyway?

Let me quote at length Reid about his reading of Campbell’s talk:

The central double-bind for digital literacy education–whether it is FTF, traditionally online, or open and online–is between the demand to reinvent/be creative and the expectation of meeting traditional standards. Gardner relates a story of one academic who responds to the idea of open online education by saying “it may be learning, but it’s not academics.” If that is true, it’s because academics is tied to certification, and certification is tied to reaching specific, predetermined goals. I don’t think anyone wants to do away with the practice of certification, especially for certain professions. In fact, the badges movement looks to expand the micro-certifications of academics (e.g. the course credit) into extra-institutional learning experiences. My inclination would be that we need to move in the opposite direction, distancing learning from certifying. But I don’t see us doing that, in part because higher education is a research and certifying machine far more that it is a teaching and learning one.

“Listening to World Music” and “Introduction to Genetics and Evolution” and every other Coursera MOOC I had looked at prior to this were designed primarily to fulfill the certification goal. The potential with these certificate/testing-oriented classes is they can provide reliable certification in the sense that students take quantifiable tests that produce predictable and measurable results. The problem with these classes is they don’t seem to be very valid in the sense of being a credible demonstration of knowledge. I am a certified graduate of “Listening to World Music;” so what? Duke University’s “Introduction to Genetics and Evolution” might be good enough for “ACE CREDIT,” but it’s not good enough to be considered valid credit at Duke.

On the other hand, there is something very valid (or at least “authentic-feeling”) about the learning experience possible in a course like E-Learning and Digital Cultures or the various “cMOOCs” that were the open learning/”edupunk”  experiments that predate Coursera et al by several years. I know I have had tremendous learning experiences from similar experiences– conferences, mailing lists, cooking shows, books, and all kinds of other things that are not formally “educational.” Almost everything (beyond the basics) I learned about writing has little to do with a teacher/student relationship and almost everything to do with the experience of writing and being around other writers and readers.  The problem is though there’s no reliable way to measure what someone has or hasn’t learned from these learning opportunities.  As Gardner put it, it might be learning but it isn’t academic.

For me, this is the difference between learning and education.  MOOCs might be great for learning, but not so great for education.

A Few Thoughts on MOOC Credit (and “Life” credit)

The March of the MOOCs continues as the American Council on Education has approved Coursera MOOC courses as being worth of actual credit– or, more accurately perhaps, “ACE CREDIT,” as the Coursera announcement puts it. The Chronicle of Higher Education article on this is pretty straight-forward, while the Inside Higher Ed piece is a little more critical (though not much).  Some “fun facts” I gleaned from both pieces:

  • The American Council on Education’s project is being heavily subsidized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though Bill has said a lot of really ill-informed things about education in different forums. Just because you have a lot of money and are well-intentioned doesn’t mean that you know what you’re talking about.
  • I’d never heard of ACE Credit before, but according to IHE, “ACE Credit has long used teams of faculty experts to review educational experiences — often on-the-job training and experience offered by the military and other government agencies, professional associations, labor unions and companies like Starbucks or McDonald’s. It has a network of nearly 2,000 colleges and universities who agree to consider the group’s credit recommendations, but decisions on accepting credits are made on a case-by-case basis.” Thus the “credit for life” element here.
  • To get the credit, you have to go through Coursera’s “Signature Track,” which as far as I can tell is Coursera’s security system (this is where the typing patterns and webcam photos/ID documents come into play) along with “a proctored online exam” after the course is over. All for $190.
  • As the IHE article makes clear at the end, these courses from Duke, UPenn and UC Irvine will not count as credit at their institutions.  “[Duke Provost Peter] Lange said Duke offers its students ‘an entirely different kind of educational experience’ than the one it is making available through its massive open courses, involving ‘substantial interactions between students and the faculty member.'” Well, alright then.

Interestingly enough, I took (and dropped out of) one of the courses on this list,  “Introduction to Genetics and Evolution” taught by Mohamed Noor. I blogged about it a bit back here. I couldn’t stick it out because I was getting too busy with my own teaching, but I thought it was about as well-done as one could expect for a MOOC, but I also didn’t think it was so much a class as it was a textbook. I’ve written about this many times already, but the point is MOOCs are about providing content (and/or “learning opportunities”) and not about teaching.  Noor is a good enough as a pre-recorded lecturer, but that’s obviously not the same thing.

Three other quick thoughts on all this.

First, it seems a little shady to me that places like Duke are perfectly happy to offer their MOOC courses for credit at other institutions but not at Duke. Think about that for a second: is there any other course taught by someone at Duke and (presumably) approved by Duke where that is the case? I seriously doubt it. And exactly how much “interaction” is happening at Duke between Noor and his students? I would guess that when Noor teaches a gen-ed version of his class at Duke the amount of “interaction” he has with his meatspace students is about the same as he has with his MOOC students.

No, this is just academic snobbery: “this course that we’re sponsoring isn’t good enough for our students, but the ‘little people’ at that state school or community college down the road might find it useful. Better to have a video-version of our great minds than to have nothing at all.” And it is a good example of how these elite institutions granting “access” to their “great minds” rarifies their own standing in the academic hierarchy.  It’s like the difference between seeing Beyonce (or whoever– pick your favorite big star performer) on television versus seeing them live. No one would pay for the television appearance, but people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for the “real thing.”

Second, as I also have blogged about here before, getting credit from “prior life experience” is tricky and is often the approach taken by diploma mills and other sketchy kinds of schools. At schools like EMU, this stuff only kind of counts. I will often see transcripts for students who were in the military who have all of these credits (maybe ACE CREDITS?) for doing “military things” and training, but that credit inevitably counts as electives and doesn’t do them a whole lot of good toward completing their degrees.

Should this sort of life credit/experience count more than it does? Maybe. Maybe this is an alternative sort of educational experience for that student who is really just trying to apply for the manager/supervisor job where there is no real reason for a college degree other than a college degree is a convient way for employers to establish a baseline qualification. I’ve had plenty of returning students– folks in their 30s and 40s and older– who told me the only reason they were in college was because they had reached a point in their workplace where the only way they could advance or keep their current job was to get a college degree in anything. Well, maybe those kinds of students ought to have some kind of different certification process.  MOOCs and “ACE CREDIT” and the like might be a part of that.

Third, I’m not sure I’m understanding the “market share” for this kind of equivalency credit. Because even though they might say stuff like “Coursera is committed to seeing that our courses meet our students’ educational goals, from simply experiencing the joy of learning something new, to seeking improved employment opportunities, to working towards a degree” (that’s an actual quote, btw), we have to always remember that Coursera (and Udacity and others) are not charities. They have attracted millions of dollars in venture capital not simply because they intend to spread joy. 

But I am not sure I understand the potential market here. CLEP tests, the equivalent of AP tests, ACE CREDIT, “life credit,” etc., etc.: if you added that all up, would it even be a 500,000 people worldwide? That’s great I guess, but that isn’t exactly the Thomas Friedman-esque transformation of higher education as we know it, is it?

Two Thoughts on the crash of the “Fundamentals of Online Education” MOOC

I actually almost signed up for the Coursera MOOC “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application,” and now that it has gone (apparently?) terribly wrong, I wish I had been there. As it is, I’m relying on the reports. The basics:

  • According to this post and this post from George Siemens, the ironically named course was canceled in large part because of what sounds like bad planning and application. Comments on Siemens’ posts also suggest that it wasn’t Coursera who shut it down but the instructor, Georgia Tech’s Dr. Fatimah Wirth. More on that in a moment.
  • Inside Higher Ed ran a piece “MOOC Mess” that also highlights the basic problems and that also links to a couple of other useful sites/links to things about this “mess.” For example…
  • From How People Learn Online comes FOE MOOC Notes.  This is from a web site of a group of researchers at SUNY Albany and these notes appear to have been taken by Peter Shea. All you have to do is look through his five entries about the class to recognize that this was not very well thought-out to begin with and in less than a week, it went from being bad to being yanked off stage.
  • And then from the site online learning insights comes “How NOT to Design a MOOC: The Disaster at Coursera and How to Fix it.” One of the “fun facts” I gleaned from this reading was that Wirth was apparently having students do some sort of group project. In an online class with 40,000+ students. That might have been a really bad idea….

I’m working my way right now through E-Learning and Digital Cultures (with my English 516 students), so I don’t have the time nor desire to pile on too much more. I do want to mention two things for now though:

First, this reminds me of a conversation a friend and comp/rhet colleague and I had last summer on the golf course. I thought I had blogged about this already, but maybe not. We were talking about MOOCs and Coursera and the like, and as this person pointed out, Coursera is operating as a Silicon Valley VC start-up, which is essentially the opposite approach of the way higher education works. What he meant (and if he didn’t mean this, this is what I mean) is these start-up companies race to market as fast as they possibly can to attract users and attention and market share which in turn attracts more start-up money. This might make a certain amount of sense in developing an app where being first matters at least as much (probably more) than being best, and also where it’s always possible to push out an update of that app. In other words, the mode here seems to be to develop/build first and think later.

In higher ed and in my department– and certainly when it comes to developing new courses– we think first and then build. So, if Wirth proposed teaching a new course about the “Fundamentals of Online Education” at EMU, it would have had to have been reviewed and approved by all kinds of different committees within a program, a department, a college, and beyond. All along the way, different faculty and administrators would have insisted on seeing documentation (a syllabus, a bibliography, sample assignments, etc.) to get an idea of how this was all going to work. And if that had been done with a course like this at EMU, I’m guessing that at some point, someone along the line would have said “you know, having students do group work in an online class where there’s thousands of them all over the world is insane, right?”

But since Coursera seems most interested in capturing the MOOC market with sheer volume, vetting courses appears to be something to worry about later. This isn’t the first example of how that strategy might not be a great one with courses, but it is certainly the most dramatic.

Second, I find it intriguing to think of the “control” of these courses and the implications that has for the rights of students and beyond.  Siemens points out rightfully that what’s really awful about Wirth just turning her course off was it usurps the rights of the learners. “This incident is significant. MOOCs are nothing without learners. In this instance, it looks like the instructor decided to shut down the course. Faculty own the content, Coursera owns the platform. But neither should own the conversation. That belongs to the learners. The difficultly is that many learners interact in Coursera forums.”

But beyond that important and basic issues of learners’ rights, it makes me wonder about how this might play out in more traditional higher education. Suppose I started teaching a course– even a small one, with 15 or 20 students– and after a few class sessions, I decided it just wasn’t going well and I was just going to stop. How would that go over? Well, I am guessing that once the students complained (and rightfully so), my department head would tell me to get my ass back in there and make it work, that I couldn’t just “walk away” from a course. Faculty have a lot of freedom, but I don’t think that extends to just not doing anything.

“That’s an unfair comparison, Steve. Coursera courses are free and they don’t offer any real credit.” True, but if Coursera wants to be taken seriously and to ever be anything other than a novelty act– and I think it’s clear that Coursera desperately wants to be taken seriously and wants to desperately make money selling its courses to paying customers (students and universities)– then they had better get a handle on these kinds of problems, and they better get a hold of them in a hurry.