Real college classes have writing assignments and required reading.

More or Less Bunk

Do most MOOCs have required reading? I’ve been conversing with the proprietor of the blog Capitalist Imperialist Pig about that question in the comments here. They challenged me to look at all the excellent readings in two MOOCs, Gregory Nagy’s Ancient Greek Hero and Dan Ariely’s Coursera MOOC from Duke, so I did.*

Here’s the “Suggested Reading” statement for Ariely’s MOOC:

I will cover some of the material that is in my 3 books Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (2008), The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home (2010), and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves (2012).

In other words, there’s no required reading, and one writing assignment which is (of course) peer-graded.

The Nagy course is better on reading. There’s a lot of free downloadable translations of Greek…

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