Inside Higher Ed posted a story the other day about the University of Oklahoma and the History Channel teaming up on an online course. I have my own issues with the History Channel and cringe at the likes of Ice Road Truckers and Swam People but I am wondering if anyone happened to notice that Steven M. Gillon is not only the professor of the course, he is also the historian in residence for the History Channel (gee, I wonder how they decided to team up), AND the author of the textbook he uses. Dr. Gillon sure wears a lot of hats!
Some in the History Department at the U of O came out against the course. However, if the professor teaching the course is responsible for the overall content of the course, why should the inclusion of the History Channel cause consternation? It seems that the course content had the added bonus of media from the History Channel, it isn’t like Rick Harrison was a guest lecturer. (Rick is the co-owner of the pawn shop on Pawn Stars.) It seems to me that the crux of the matter was that some in the History Department at the U of O were not so much upset at the content as they were at the fact that the university teamed up with a for-profit company. Like this never happens with textbooks and such. Thoughts?
Here is a link to the article: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/05/27/u-oklahoma-history-professors-object-joint-course-history-channel