In a rare and performative act when pressed, I spent untold hours reading the table of contents of dissertations from past students that I admired these last few weeks, and my efforts were rewarded when I finally saw the first few pages of some future possibilities for chapter headings. The only sounds in the Mina Rees Dissertation Room were mine, scratching into an old-fashioned ledger notebook because keyboard clicks are not allowed. It’s my absolute most favorite place to work.

If I become more brave, this outline will include Chapter 5: Issues in Contemporary Art for Online Learning, and Chapter 6: Against the Commodification of Education. But I’m not acting that brave yet. I am meanwhile visualizing a tidy table of contents and the first few pages that look real to me. Most of all, I am imagining that first coverlet page with my initials signed in pencil. Those seem most real of all. Time to talk it into existence. Black heavy cover jacket and all.

[Blank page]
[Title page, initialed in pencil]:

by Rosanna Noelle Flouty

A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty in Urban Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, The City University of New York

[blank page, p ii]
c. 2014
Rosanna Flouty
All Rights Reserved

[Manuscript approval signature page, p iii]
This manuscript has been read and accepted for the Graduate Faculty in Urban Education in satisfaction of the dissertation requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.” Date, Name, Signed, Chair of Examining Committee, Anthony Picciano, PhD Executive Officer, plus three readers on Supervision Committee, Names TBD, Signed, Dated.


[Abstract, p iv]:


Rosanna Noelle Flouty

Advisor: Dr.____________ word count

[Dedication, p v]
[Acknowledgments p vi]
[Preface, p vii]
[Table of Contents] x
Approval Page iii
Abstract iv
Dedication v
Preface vi

Chapter 1. Introduction: The Birth of MOOCs
Centralized, Decentralized, Distributed: The Conceptual Foundation
Setting the Stage: [ tk Defining Characteristics of Online Learning]
On learning
On curiosity
On alternatives
Overview of the Dissertation
Structure of the Dissertation
Preliminary Conclusion

Chapter 2. Conceptual Theory:
Why [this theory? this study? What will we learn here? How will this impact the field?]
Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man
Overview of the Dissertation

Chapter 3. DIY Education: Movements to be Free for Everyone, Everywhere
            A Brief History of Distance Learning c. 1954-2001
Sunrise Semester and New York University c. 1954-1982
PBS YOU and the Demise of the Telecourse c. 1988-2001*

Chapter 4. Conceptual Theory:
            A Brief History of Online Courses
Coursera, Udacity, Khan Academy
Disruptive Technology in Online Education
Edupunk and DIY U: Movements to Be Free

It trails off at the end… because it’s just not ready yet. But again, in efforts to work in public and to cease my shyness in writing this all down as soon as I am able, I have forced myself to hit the button, and post. The next ten days are crucial ones, but this is the first step.

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