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Contrast Karen Head and Thomas Freidman on MOOCs (Essay Sample)


Writing Assignment #1 will be a comparison-contrast essay on the perspectives of Dr. Karen Head and Thomas Friedman on the effectiveness of online writing courses.
The following links feature the following:
• a series of articles written by Dr. Head on her experience in teaching a composition course through a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform
• a video interview with Friedman on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
• an article by Friedman on MOOCs. 
Friedman discusses MOOCs in general, while Head describes her experience in teaching a writing class using a MOOC platform.
• Karen Head 
o the following link provides a series of short articles written by Dr. Head on her experience in teaching a freshman composition class through a MOOC:
o the following link is to an article written by Head called “Massive Open Online Adventure” 
• Thomas Friedman
o “A Conversation with Thomas Friedman, Part 2: Missing the Point on MOOCs, Cost vs. Value in Higher Ed and the '401(k) World'” http://vimeo(dot)com/66575133
o “Revolution Hits the Universities,” http://www(dot)nytimes(dot)com/2013/01/27/opinion/sunday/friedman-revolution-hits-the-universities.html?_r=1&
Your essay should have the following:
• an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement. 
• at least three body paragraphs that illustrate at least three major points and defend these points by referring to the Head article, the Friedman interview, and the Friedman article.
You will want to paraphrase or quote from the texts as appropriate. Don’t worry about citation style for this paper. If you quote from or paraphrase either author, simply put that author’s name in parentheses after the sentence that contains the quotation or paraphrase.
Your body paragraphs should follow either the block pattern of organization or the alternating pattern of organization.
As you prepare for this assignment, you might review the following video tutorial:
• a compelling concluding paragraph. 
Please emphasize the differences between the two authors in this essay. You may want to point out the similarity or similarities. However, the main focus of your essay will be on their differences.


Compare/ Contrast Karen Head and Thomas Freidman on MOOCs
In the contemporary world, revolution resulting from advancement in technology has hit the Universities learning systems. Several institutions have advocated for Massive Open Online Courses as a great new educational revolution. The program has a big potential to lift several people out of poverty through offering affordable education that in turn helps them secure jobs or get promotion in their jobs. Massive Open Online Courses have also been viewed as an avenue for unlocking billions of brains empowering them to solve the world's challenges. However, the project requires accurate assessment of the available resources as well as qualified personnel for its success. This paper is aimed at discussing the differences and similarities between Dr. Karen Head's and Thomas Friedman's perception on the effectiveness of massive open online courses.
Dr. Karen Head has agreed to be involved in teaching on massive open online courses program. He has been involved in the development of a MOOC in freshman composition at Georgia Institute Technology. However she faces challenges when considering the possibilities of making this project become a reality. She reports to have felt naive or even misled about the essential resources and procedures. According to Dr. Karen Head, there is not even a single institution that is, or could be in a position to undertake this endeavor. This is because there are several unknowns and there is no existing track (Head, July 2013).
Dr. Karen Head argues that unlike the traditional courses, the preparation of a MOOC requires working with professional from different fields. MOOC program requires the educators to work with instructional designers, videographers, Information Technology specialists as well as platform specialists. For many MOOCs, the instructors and the teaching assistants multitask through performing the roles of the supporting professionals (Head, July 2013).
There are challenges when it comes to the issue of accreditation. Dr. Karen and her team feel that there is no adequate means of evaluating the writing of so many students and this is a critical way of certifying their work (Head, July 2013). It is important that students are given the opportunity to review the short writing samples that they would come up with in quizzes given during different sessions of the course. This was not possible because there was no means of making s...
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