March 13, 2013

I've got a bad feeling about this: California bill to encourage MOOC credit at public colleges A powerful California lawmaker wants public college students who are shut out of popular courses to attend low-cost online alternatives – including those offered by for-profit companies – and he plans to encourage the state’s public institutions to grant credit for those classes. The proposal expected today from Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat and president pro tem of the state Senate, aims to create a “statewide system of faculty-approved, online college courses,” according to a written statement from Steinberg’s office. (A spokesman for Steinberg declined to discuss the bill.) Faculty would decide which courses should make the cut for a pool of online offerings. Likely participants include Udacity and Coursera, two major massive open online course providers, sources said. Another option might be StraighterLine, a low-cost, self-paced online course company. Those online providers are not accredited and cannot directly issue credit. But the American Council on Education (ACE) offers credit recommendations for successfully completed StraighterLine courses and is currently reviewing MOOCs for credit recommendations, with five from Coursera already gaining approval. Potentially credit-bearing MOOCs will likely include efforts to verify students' identities and proctored exams. The proposed legislation might require all of the state’s public institution’s to accept ACE’s recommendations, according to sources familiar with the bill. But whether that requirement would be binding or might include flexibility for colleges was unclear. And the legislation is likely to change as it is fought over and amended. Steinberg’s goal is to help meet capacity for California’s budget-weary public higher education systems, which...
Theory & Event 16.1 Introduction -- Jodi Dean and Davide Panagia We begin the sixteenth year of Theory & Event by grouping the contributions to this issue into four sections: “Articles,” “Austerities,” “Symposium – US Election 2012,” and “Reviews.” The pieces in each section endeavor to theorize an event or events, even as they remain acutely aware of the changes and continuities that disrupt presentations of old or new, similar and different, significant yet banal. At stake in each is an approach to collectivity, a thinking of political rupture and movement in terms of their enabling collectivities. The two pieces in the “Articles” section take up revolution and displacement. Thomas Nail connects Deleuze to the recent debate on communism. “Deleuze, Occupy, and the Actuality of Revolution” engages communist critics of the speculative leftism of Deleuze and Guattari (such as Alain Badiou, Bruno Bosteels, Peter Hallward, and Slavoj Žižek), using their critiques to launch a constructivist reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy of revolution. Nail then puts this reading to use in an analysis of Occupy Wall Street that demonstrates the ways the movement resists and exceeds a politics of state, party, proletariat, and vanguard. The actuality of revolution, Nail argues, is better understood with categories such as “deterritorialization” (specifically, in the four variants discussed in A Thousand Plateaus ) and “consistency” (as it resolves the problem of a political collectivity or composition that is neither representational nor merely potential). Sudeep Dasgupta analyzes displacement in the work of Jacques Rancière, as an attribute of both...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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