Here is a very insightful post critiquing on the MOOC Fantasy. Would online courses spell the end of traditional universities?
Who says online courses will cause the death of universities? That sounds quite optimistic about the role of universities in society. To what extent would those ‘predictions’ be true?
What would be the future of education? What would be the future of MOOCs?
But in terms of the learning experience itself, it cannot be said that MOOCs are a significant step forward. Most MOOCs are more interactive with frequent quizzes and some have incorporated basic elements of gamification. Probably the most significant advance is in the area of peer grading. But accounts of plagiarism accompanied by sub-10% course completion rates signal that MOOCs aren’t matching their revolutionary price with revolutionary product.
Massification of online courses are only rendered possible by technology, and would rely heavily on Learning Management Systems. This has been ‘proven’ to be the case for MITx, edX, Udacity and Coursera (in xMOOCs). Why are MOOCs structured like that? It is based on the premises that learners learn best through those institution education system, where resources (vidoes by professors) and professors are the key valued agents in an education system. Indeed professors could benefit much from such an approach in reaching a wider spectrum of audience, learners and readers, and a better way to educate the world, through the MOOC platform. So more and more professors would join the MOOCs in order to stay ahead of the technology trend, and there would definitely be more competition among educators, professors and consultants. Professors would then realise that they would have a challenging task to take on, as MOOCs could be both complex and unpredictable, as the participants of MOOCs could have a wide spectrum of expectations. Huge drop-out has been a natural by-product of MOOCs. This also brings up the question of credibility and accreditation challenges that are still yet to resolve, under an institution framework.
Is technology trend (such as MOOC) based on Moore’s Law? I would predict that the current MOOC movement would follow Moore’s Law where the education processes (xMOOCs) double in complexity every two years.
If we were to draw up a picture on how the MOOCs grew up, then MOOC has actually grown exponentially throughout the last 12 months. This growth would accelerate likely in the next two years, before they saturate the “education space”.
Would mass education based on MOOC be determining the future of education? I am convinced that this is the case, though you might find that this would likely lead to a drop in enrollment in formal higher education, as the MOOCs take up the education pie.
Finally, “MOOCs might actually educate adults for zero cost as well as the expensive for-profit colleges”, then why not giving MOOCs a thumbs up, even if the pedagogy is basically all about business and instructivism?
May be we need that side of education (both xMOOCs and cMOOC) that could add flavor to the digital world.