SICCs: A Revolution in Education

SICCs: A Revolution in Education February 18, 2013

Thanks to a friend who is a time traveler, I can share this interesting higher education news report he brought back from 2033:

A recent study by education specialists could lead to a radical revolution in universities around the world. A multi-year study of a range of classes has discovered that a new approach, referred to as Small-scale Interactive Classroom Conversations (SICCs), may have the potential to achieve learning and comprehension goals which far exceed what is possible using the current standard in the higher education industry, the MOOC (Massively Open Online Course).

Dr. A. Qademy, who authored the report on the study, has explained what inspired him to investigate the matter. “In working on my degree in education, most of the material was delivered through MOOCs. I distinctly got the impression in my Classical Civilizations MOOC that Socrates and other great teachers had all used MOOCs. It was only after sitting in on an actual seminar class which a colleague was offering, that I learned that I must have misperceived this when learning largely on my own, with little opportunity for feedback and clarification, and while simultaneously browsing Facebook and playing games. And since the educational environment of a small seminar helped me learn this, I began to suspect that this approach might actually have neglected advantages.”

Not everyone agrees with Qademy. A spokesperson for his university had this to say: “Small groups and conversations were the methods used before there was even electricity or running water. Do we really want to move backwards? The only reason that seminar class Qademy mentioned was even offered was because one of our MOOC servers broke down. Do we really want our back-up plan for when technology isn't working to become the main way we do things? Also, students regularly report that these Small-Scale Interactive Classroom Conversations can be so intensive and demanding of their full attention, that it interferes with their multitasking. Our students, who are our customers, simply do not want that.”


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