Here is an update on MOOCs.
What is the number one challenge with current education model?
Our current education model would be shaken and further disrupted as there are urges to populate courses to accommodate an increasing number of students, in order to stay economical and competitive. Increasingly, there is huge problem that is associated with the funding and the continuing rise of tuition for a degree in colleges. “The cost of a college degree in the United States has increased “12 fold” over the past 30 years, far outpacing the price inflation of consumer goods, medical expenses and food.
According to Bloomberg, college tuition and fees have increased 1,120 percent since records began in 1978.”
“Soaring tuition and shrinking incomes are making college less and less affordable,” Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat and chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in an e-mailed statement. “For millions of young people, rising college costs are putting the American dream on hold, or out of reach.”
The figures tell it all, when falling enrolment figures in traditional universities and colleges led to further pressures to attract more students to take up college and universities places, whilst MOOCs are now registered with millions of participants.
Would that be a concern to most higher education institutions – colleges and universities?
As more and more universities are relying on the MOOCs to help them in reducing the costs of delivery, what would happen?
What could MOOC (xMOOCs) offer?
xMOOCs are offering education of a significantly “different kind”, and apart from them being free, they are open. Have they disrupted the education model?
My concern with MOOCs is that their proponents see them as a means to educate the masses for the first kind of learning, while reserving the second kind of learning for those who pay very high fees to come to their campuses. This will merely widen the inequalities that already exist. We need to find ways of making the second kind of learning available on a mass scale, but there has to be a price paid to do this, whether it is through taxes, tuition fees or a combination of both.
So, MOOCs could put significant pressures back to institutions, where transactional learning would need to be “scale up” to the masses, with tens or hundreds of thousands of students, in order to attract more students to study.
Would such way of educating the massive number of students be sustainable with the existing funding model?
How would these not disrupt the traditional higher institutions if they are not responding to the call of open on-line education if their enrolment continues to fall, and that more and more students are joining MOOCs for continuing studies and learning?
In this post:
“And that’s when I have my being-blown-away moment. The traffic is astonishing. There are thousands of people asking – and answering – questions about dominant mutations and recombination. And study groups had spontaneously grown up: a Colombian one, a Brazilian one, a Russian one. There’s one on Skype, and some even in real life too. And they’re so diligent! If you are a vaguely disillusioned teacher, or know one, send them to Coursera: these are people who just want to learn.”
This is interesting, though not a surprise at all. These sorts of forum postings and discussions had been ongoing for years, only this time every one seemed to be amazed for the first time of its pervasiveness – with networks all springing up seemingly from nowhere. If we refer these to study groups, then what would be the role of formal classes, in a traditional classroom, within institution? Would students like to have a try, and dip a toe into MOOC? Why not?
Is face-to-face teaching and learning still dominant design of tertiary education?
Yes. That is why MOOCs would soon be taking over some aspects of the traditional teaching, when one could reach a massive number of students normally not afforded in the face-to-face mode of teaching.
Is that the reason why Sebastian Thrun preferred to take the red pill after his experiment with the AI MOOC? How about the rock star professors who are teaching under MOOC? Isn’t it great to be admired by hundreds of thousands of participants of MOOC? What would happen to those who are still teaching in a face-to-face teaching mode? Would they need to shift their teaching mode because of the need of the community and learners? What would happen to those educators and students who are accustomed to the face-to-face teaching?
If you still think that MOOCs are still under the control in HE, I reckon you have to think twice, as this post provides good food for thoughts.
What about the high drop out and attrition rates, and low completion rates, the on-line identification of students, plagiarism and cheating, and language issues that had all impacted the reputation of online education, in particular MOOCs?
Is drop-out really that important in online learning such as MOOCs? May be not, as I have shared them here. The more connections one has, the more proficient one has to become, in face of chaotic and complex learning environment.
This video on xMOOCs – Millions of lessons learned on electronic napkins provides an interesting perspective. Can MOOCs be free and open? Would there be free lunch with MOOCs? Someone got to pay for the course, and it’s likely that learners need to pay, in order to have sustainable MOOCs. That’s the reality.
A useful reference here on MOOC – a European view.