I have been thinking about when MOOC would come to a saturation point.
Here in this post:
More participants can mean more problems, however. Some academics emphasize that cheating is virtually impossible to measure—posing issues for the courses that are given for-credit. Additionally, though thousands of students often sign up for popular courses, only a select few will go on to complete all tasks necessary for credit. In Noor’s first Coursera course, taught this past Fall, he said that only about 2,000 participants completed the requirements of the course, which initially had about 33,000 enrollees.
In the case of formal online courses, would a low graduation rate of 10% be allowed to run? I think the professors would be first to explain why there is such a low pass rate. In a MOOC, that is however, acceptable, and to be congratulated instead. That sounds interesting, not only that MOOCs are unique, but are un-questionable, indestructible. It is a grand experiment after all, always in Beta phase.
Justin sees MOOCs in an unique way in this post on Why do professors hate MOOCs let me count whys. “Faculty members must feel this, & thus supporting MOOCs like digging their own graves.
More MOOCs would lead to more cost-effectiveness in the delivering of courses for elite institutions, though this could also lead to a decrease in the demand of courses offered by “traditional Higher Education Institutions” as the students flocked to the MOOCs. Would this lead to decrease in the demand of faculty professors? Would this explain why MOOCs are welcome by some (super professors), but not all other professors, especially if their jobs are at risk as a consequence? “Why educators should hate MOOC” as concluded by Justin.
Though I could see the disruptive power of this MOOC innovation on Higher Education, I do think there are many opportunities for educators to re-build Higher Education in a constructive and contributing way. Indeed, there are many alternative pathways that would “save” the crisis of Higher Education, which included the shifting of paradigm towards a Constructivist and Connectivist approach in the learning and teaching practices, with the adoption of Creative Classroom and Community and Networks of Practice as Learning Platforms.
As I have shared in my past post, MOOC has its own life cycle, and what we need to understand is where it is now and when it would start to change, given that it is hard to sustain just as Freebies. Soon, there would be a business model of MOOCs, and we would be able to see how they could “replace” part of the mainstream online or face-to-face courses.
So, the reality is, MOOCs are here to stay, and there would be a significant impact on some of the traditional institutions, and the faculty professors. What would happen next? Just check on the MOOC growth, and pedagogy employed, and you could likely predict its future.
Postscript: In response to Steve’s question on whether MOOC is a subset of Creative Classroom (my previous post), here is my response:
I reckon MOOCs would behave similar to the COPs in some ways, though once the novelty is gone, creative learning environment (Creative Classroom – which is coined in the paper) would take its place. History will tell if this happens. There is always a life cycle – and MOOCs have no exception, especially if it is based on a Venture Capitalist model of quick launch, and “fast education” sort of entrepreneurship model of education. It is difficult to predict when this “bubble” would continue to grow, or would join another few bubbles for growth, especially when the government/education authority is going to support or regulate (and in fact this is happening in the USA). This would likely turn education into an arena where the “fittest” survive and thrive. Monetization and privatization of MOOCs must happen before another model could come in.
Photo source: Tony Bates’ post.