San José State faculty push back against edX

San José State edX

Faculty members in the philosophy department at San José State University last week issued what the New York Times called a “blistering statement” about why they will not use materials from an online course called Justice, taught by Michael Sandel of Harvard.

In a letter published by the Chronicle of Higher Ed, the philosophy faculty stated they do not want to enable what they see as a push to “replace professors, dismantle departments, and provide a diminished education for students in public universities.”

The letter echoed concerns of many university faculties across the nation about MOOCs—massive open online classes. It emphasized the importance of individual interaction with students, and the fear that the courses would widen the gap between the education that elite universities can offer and what is available to students at most other institutions.

“The move to MOOCs comes at great peril to our university,” the letter said. “We regard such courses as a serious compromise of quality of education and, ironically for a social justice course, a case of social injustice.”