What is the driver of these MOOCs movement?  I have shared this in previous post – MISSION, MOOCS AND MONEY.

I see MOOCs as a transition towards opening up Higher Education to different parties – and some may call it fragmentation, whilst others would call it as transformation and disruptive innovation.

The response to these changes seem to lie with FIGHT, DEVELOP or FLIGHT responses, with opponents of MOOCs fighting hard to sustain certain traditional values, and proponents claiming glory towards marketization and transformation, with democratization of Higher Education.

Jonathan says in this post on moocs could be disastrous for students and professors:

Somewhere right now, private companies, university administrators, and/or politicians are already planning an all-MOOC future for most of tomorrow’s college students. Unlike today’s MOOC participants, these future students will have to pay for access to them.

Not too many people might have predicted and thought about the impact of xMOOCs on HE institutions, faculty, professors, learners and community at large. We need debates, discourses, voices of both pro and anti MOOCs to gain a better understanding of their concerns or interests, and what may be some of the better options to overcome those challenges and “wicked problems” faced by Higher Education institutions.

There is now a trend that MOOCs would move on, when all the big 3 players (edX, Coursera, and Udacity) and many other players in other parts of the world (UK, Australia, Europe, Japan, Asia) continue to offer taster MOOCs or experimental MOOCs to test the waters, or that MOOCs providers and HE institutions to reap as much as possible (global students, money, market share etc.) using this golden opportunity.

There are set-backs such as the recent report on San Jose State University Puts MOOC on hold, also shared here.  We need more data to understand the problem and how MOOCs might solve the problem.

Many educators and professors are obviously concerned about their job security and long term prosperity.  Tamar reports in this post: “Most faculty objections arise out of concerns about how online courses impinge on the professor-student relationship — and how they may lead to the privatization of public universities, and the loss of faculty jobs.”

However, this is not just because of MOOCs, but rather systemic and pedagogical issues, where hundred years of traditional model of HE has been challenged by the professors and xMOOCs pioneers themselves. This may be once in a life-time or century opportunity for all stakeholders concerned, including MOOCs, HE institutions, professors, educators, learners, and others like businesses, venture capital firms and investors, philanthropists etc. to exercise their “power”, control over education and learning. Would those win take all?

How would our Higher Education Institutions, faculty, professors and educators and MOOC providers adapt and change in response to these huge flux in the ecology?

Here is my share where I conceive MOOC as an adaptive system and network ecology to the future of Higher Education.

MOOC or not?  That is not A SIMPLE question, BUT THE QUESTION that every Higher Education Institution must answer in the near future.  There is simply no return!

Would the traditional model of education with MASS LECTURES WITH FEW HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS SURVIVE? May be, but may be not with the revolution and tsunami of MOOCs.

What would you see might be the future of Higher Education?




  2. Lets not forget that the current traditional model was an economic innovation – how to mass educate people in an industrial age with new transportation opportunities – move people to to information – physical location, mass lectures and standardised content and testing.

    Economic reality is promoting another shift – in the information age we can move information to people – on-line resources, collaboration and social interaction.

  3. Are people ready to embrace those changes? Not everyone is viewing such changes in positive ways, though every MOOCs and even online education, have their “yin-and-yang” impact on education. Who led the changes? If people reflected on the first cMOOCs, were they led from the grass-roots? xMOOCs are led from the top and “driven” by the MOOCs providers and HE institutions, and so could be perceived differently. As I have shared, most successful implementation of education reforms and initiatives were driven from the top. Only revolutions were driven from the open or bottom (like internet, technology, or people in society). Are people still the most valuable assets to society and community? If yes, how are people going to embrace changes and adapt to a “revolutionary” ecology?

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