I recently made the assertion to a friend that both Universities and MOOCs are failing. I don’t have much to back up this assertion, especially about MOOCs, other than some impressions.

MOOCs in general seem to be a naive attempt to either recreate the ability to take cool but non-essential electives online that one would normally take as part of a university undergraduate program or to be “modern” correspondence courses - similar to what I did during the summer in high school with my useless US government course.

None of these address what I see as the main failure of the collapsing university system, that being a failure of credibility.

Evidence of this failure is the Chinese use of the US university system for merit washing, through all sorts of exam and homework frauds that my wife personally witnessed at UC Berkeley.

There is this illusion that an instution can grant any sort of credibility. In fact only individuals can. The remnants of this are recommendation letters typically used to gain entrance to university programs. What goes on now, with Instutitions (corporate) considering only candidates for jobs who come from other Institutions (educational) is absurd and has resulted in complete impotence.

Competence can only come back once what matters is individual recommendations about individuals, educated in whatever manner individuals deem appropriate.

Additional evidence of the failure of University is that I have to great benefit updated my spam filter to send all traffic from .edu domains to the spam folder.

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