Emergence of MOOCs – Part 3 MOOCs as SURPRISES!

What does a MOOC look like now?

MOOC* Georgetown University Provost Robert Groves blogged: “The ability of massive open online courses to deliver exactly the same experience simultaneously to thousands and thousands of students breaks the mold of traditional university education.  We can all see their potential to increase access to education and reduce the costs of education.” (Full blog post: “Our Moment in Time.”)

MOOC has now evolved into a Mega Network of Massive Open Online Courses with a conglomerate of many open online courses all forming Hubs around the BIG THREE – Coursera, Udacity and edX.

What are common among the big three?

The headlines are:

Take the World’s Best Courses, Online, For Free – Coursera

Learn. Think. Do.  Higher Education for Free – Udacity

The Future of Online Education – for anyone, anywhere, any time – edX

Common words are: Free for Coursera and Udacity, and Education for Udacity and edX.

Taken together, they all are offering education, online courses for free.   Their pedagogy are all based on instructivism (a cognitive and behavioral approach towards teaching and learning, with mastery learning).   The MOOCs are based on the best media platforms available and offered to any one in the world.  There, you would be able to get the courses run by the  best and “super” (rockstar) professors, who will be at the centre stage of teaching, delivering world class education.

What is the medium of MOOC?

“The medium is still the lecture. Thanks to Khan Academy’s free archive of snappy instructional videos, MOOC makers have gotten the memo on the benefit of brevity: 8 to 12 minutes is typical. Then – this is key – videos pause perhaps twice for a quiz to make sure you understand the material or, in computer programming, to let you write code. Feedback is electronic. Teaching assistants may monitor discussion boards. There may be homework and a final exam.”

What are the challenges of MOOCs?

“The MOOC certainly presents challenges. Can learning be scaled up this much? Grading is imperfect, especially for nontechnical subjects. Cheating is a reality. “We found groups of 20 people in a course submitting identical homework,” says David Patterson, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who teaches software engineering, in a tone of disbelief at such blatant copying; Udacity and edX now offer proctored exams.”

Here what you need to know about MOOC provides a useful summary, and there are many more, as collected in my post.

The recent evolution of MOOCs

The recent introduction of Instructure to the MOOC game is of little surprise to me. “Instructure announced today that it’s launching a new service called Canvas Network. The service is being positioned as an alternative to existing MOOC vendors or platforms (such as Coursera or EdX) to allow colleges to teach open online courses on the Canvas platform.”

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/open-online-education-and-canvas-network#ixzz2BDuc4mj2
Inside Higher Ed

Is MOOC a surprise to you?

The year of MOOC has caught many by surprise.   Even the x MOOCs co-founders were caught by surprise.   

“This has caught all of us by surprise,” says David Stavens, who formed a company called Udacity with Sebastian Thrun and Mike Sokolosky after more than 150,000 signed up for Dr. Thrun’s “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” last fall, starting the revolution that has higher education gasping.

If you were to ask me: Did MOOCs catch you by surprise?  My answer is: No.

I have longed thought that MOOC would become a reality before 2008.  Since joining CCK08 in 2008, I was more than convinced that MOOC would one day be ubiquitous, like the networks and communities formed and re-formed around us, in the edge and core of the webs, spreading throughout the internet.  I had on a few occasions worked on that – the Connectivism Ning, the Facebook, the wikis, etc. that were all networks of “practice” where practitioners would all be too happy to come and go, sharing and collaborating with each others with an open NETWORK, similar in nature to THE MOOCs.

What MOOCs need might be the branding, the timing and opportunity that the prestigious institutions have, and of course the funding required to run the MOOCs, so professors could work on, and learn from.

I had discussed these trends of MOOC back in 2010 here on the future of education.  Dave Cormier, George Siemens had organized MOOCs where discourse on future of education – a course in future thinking was held in 2010.  Stephen Downes had been an active promoter of open education and personalized learning with PLE/PLN for the past decade. These had all been discussed in the last sessions of various CCKs – 08, 09, CCK11, Change11.

Here is a summary of CCK08 by Stephen Downes.  See Stephen Downes’ OLDaily for more posts on future of education.

We are heading into the future with MOOCs where “colleges of all kinds will need to re-examine exactly what value they provide to students, what it costs, and what price the market will bear.”

Is disruptive innovation of MOOCs good enough to revolutionize Higher Education?

In my post relating to disruptive technology: Clayton’s prediction of disruptive innovation could rightly provide us with the crystal  ball: that innovative disruption would likely be repeated for any businesses – including education, and HE in particular, especially in highly developed countries, or a global market.  These seem to have been demonstrated in the current MOOCs phenomena too.  Are we ready for these sorts of “disruptions” in education?  Time will tell.

Are we at the cross-road of Higher Education?

“I have once predicted that this sort of future education would soon make its turn towards mass education with personalized learning, like the MOOC movement.  However, what sort of technology would uplift the HE to another higher level?  Is disruptive technology playing as the strange attractor here?  Are the sort of investments based on disruptive technology giving more choices for the learners?  Or will education become a commodity managed under an entrepreneurial business setting?”

MOOC as the CALL CARD to revolutionize Higher Education

MOOC is now the CENTRAL ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION – DISRUPTING the Higher Education to its fullest extent.

Here efficiency and effectiveness of education has finally been drawn based on this CALL CARD – MOOC to revolutionize Higher Education.  You got to love free Higher Education!

But there is a price to pay.  MOOC and you’re out of a job: Uni business model in danger.

Are you a super professor?  Have you delivered a xMOOC?  What were your experiences in the teaching and learning with x MOOCs?

Photos Credit: Google images