I would like to respond to this learning points on MOOC – where it concludes that MOOC are failures and will be a failure.
Generally, a good coverage of the issues, challenges of institutionally based MOOC, and what might be outcomes when MOOCs are introduced into formal systems in an institution.
I could see the concerns and difficulties that are confronting both administrators, educators and even the learners when adopting a MOOC as a platform to drive educational reform. I agree that some of the issues are very hard to address, like cheating and plagiarism, and identity of the learners. Other issues relate to the lack of skills and pre-requisites required from the participants in doing a formal MOOC (i.e. x MOOC, like Coursera or Udacity). These are challenging for administrators, educators, designers and learners, when working and learning with MOOCs.
To address those issues would require a long post, so instead, I would relate to my previous post here:
Finally, may I put these into philosophical propositions?
1. When you don’t see any rigid structure in MOOC, that is good, as MOOC should be personalized, having adaptive and amorphous structures that are all customized to suit the learners, not just the educators needs.
2. When there seems to be a chaotic structure in place, that is good, because such structure would challenge even the most intelligent and talented educators, scholars, professors and learners to sort them out, so everyone has to rethink and reflect about what it means to learn in a chaotic Web and internet based learning environment. That is the reality that we are facing, in times of flux.
3. Where there are more and more problems emerging out of MOOC design, delivery and development, that is good, because this would give a chance for scholars, researchers, administrators, educators, and learners to change and adapt their teaching and learning, based on a shift in the pedagogy, paradigms. This would challenge each of them to re-think about the importance, significance and implications of online participation (with a participatory culture), collaboration and cooperation, as a network, as a cluster of educators, researchers, and learners throughout the global networks, as an institution, or a partnership of institutional networks. This would stimulate and promote stakeholders to research, to learn and to improve and innovate altogether, in order to tackle the challenges ahead of us and that of our next generation. That is the change and transformation needed to keep abreast of knowledge and learning in an ever changing world.
4. Are we living in an era of disruptive digital media based ecology? The challenge is huge, but the reward is even bigger. The more we know, the more we know that we don’t know. And that is learning as growth and development, both individually and as connective and collective wisdom.
This is the time to celebrate the successes and failures, through experimentation, and possible failures of MOOCs, where educators and learners could learn together. Without trials, we never learn.
Treating MOOC as a driver to education carries certain risks. Are we safe-fail or fail-safe when designing and implementing MOOCs? What are the lessons we could learn from such x MOOC AND c MOOC that would help us in transforming education, both informally and formally, under institutional settings?
I have argued in previous posts that there are only success pathways that HE could afford to cross and chart out. It is equally important to realize that such pathways do carry costs, and need careful planning in its emergent design and implementation. There could be failures at certain points of implementation of MOOC, and that could be part of the whole learning in an internet based digital learning environment. These relate to the pedagogy and Netagogy adopted in the MOOCs.
Is that also why online education had been withheld from the mainstream for the past two decades? Only innovators and pioneers dared to try to design courses to cater for the learners’ REAL needs. But without such endeavour, we would soon be retracting back to the basic, traditional and fundamental course of delivery, relying heavily on mass lectures, tutorials on a face-to-face scenarios, and a close of the four walls to ensure safety and security. Openness is a rhetoric rather than reality, when introduced in the on-line educational courses, and that is where we could foresee in the coming future.
Are we at the crossroad in Higher Education? Are we going to the future, or back to the past? That’s your call!