Are MOOCs freebies? MOOCs are free, open at least still by now. Is this model of education sustainable? Is it a sustainable or disruptive innovation/technology?
I have had once a dream on education since I was a boy, to have quality education for free, truly open, totally free of fees payment, with no “conditions apply” in this world. Why? As often mentioned, Higher Education should be a human right. If that is true, then any one has the right to be educated, and to educate, in a democratic and civilized society.
The merits of having MOOCs developed through MOOCs providers (i.e. edX, Coursera, Udacity) rather than being offered by university directly is to avoid the huge costs that are associated with the development of MOOCs alone, where the university has to bear the full costs for the course. Besides, MOOCs are supposed to be used as an experimental platform (though also a disruptive innovation) to test out the various ways of improving both the face-to-face delivery, online delivery and blended learning options. The use of peer assessment (massive-mooc-grading-problem-stanford-hci-group-tackles-peer-assessment) could be one way to provide a solution to assessment with massive number of students. It’s still early stages to conclude if this method of peer assessment would overcome the bias associated with peer assessment.
As I have shared in my previous posts here and here, once the MOOCs are getting more and more popular, the more potential these MOOCs would have in overtaking the mainstream courses offered in the institutions. These MOOCs are covering a wide spectrum of courses, extending to k-12 education. This would further impact on the mainstream courses and the professors teaching in a traditional teaching mode, even by those offered in the elite Higher Education institutions and universities.
Isn’t it a dilemma when a “lower” quality MOOCs would outperform the “highly enriched, engaging” courses that are taught by the professors and offered by the elite or traditional universities, in terms of course efficiency and cost effectiveness, by educating the “world” of learners with MOOCs?
Would MOOCs be here to stay without tears? I am afraid they would still be facing a lot of challenges, like the pedagogy to be adopted, sound business models that are to be established, cultural and quality issues that are yet to be overcome.
Completion rates on MOOCs: Source from Google images
I have a dream – with a MOOCs for free, forever. That would surely transform the world of education!