Thinking about business model, I found this interesting, about creating learning community not courses.
May be MOOC suffers from the term course itself, as it really sends a message that it intends to achieve a set of learning outcomes, as traditionally set in a course. It is NOT. It is more than what the course intends to achieve, and much broader than just learning about the “content” of the course. As some of “us” has experienced, it is centered around conversation (not only among entities, but within one’s weak and strong ties, and with ourselves), and use of various media and tools to help us to engage, or to reflect more deeply into what those sizzle (badges, accreditation, certification) means, for the educators, and the learners (educatee?). Such misnomer could send the “wrong message” that MOOC is just a social club too, as there is in fact no one single club owner to direct what others should or shouldn’t do. Those belong to the “kingdom” of business, with centralised vision and mission. MOOC does provide value proposition, just like any business, though these values are based on what each of the “stakeholders” and participants would like to define. And that is what (E)ducation in a new and emergent community (or networks) would likely re-define, its vision, mission, and thus value proposition. Does increasing engagement, attention merely act to add sugar to the river, in order to ease the consumption of it?
May I share the video Why Mobile Learning?
For some people (especially the case examples as shown in the video), they would be looking for access to “quality” information, to help them to think, to reflect upon, to raise a voice, or to learn some basic skills, or to help in solving a problem or making a decision. So, MOOC for the “disadvantaged”, for the “less than abled, not just disabled” and for the less than fortunate (due to lack of access, or their lack of academic or intellectual abilities) could be equally valuable. Have we forgotten these important values for the people in the society? Give them fishes, and they would live for another day, but teach them how to fish, and they could feed for their lives. I don’t know if that could convince the “rich” to bestow more “care” to the poor, but I do think as a Catholic, that is the value that I aspire to, even when I was young. It could be about leveraging technology, to get a certificate (recognition), to make a living (as an educator, or an entrepreneur), and each profession could add values to others or society on a different scale, in a different way.
In summary, I could see the challenge of the “course”, in this MOOC, but I reckon it’s the values that MOOC could bring along that is more important, as that might be the catalyst for awareness, in education, and in its transformation, within us, for us.