How should universities respond to MOOCs?

MOOCs were expected to be the panacea to Higher Education when they were first launched.  As predicated, it has now come back to have these MOOCs as networking in steroids.  MOOCs have now become not only an innovation or technology disruption to Higher Education, but a challenge to most of the Higher Institutions.

Aaron says:

Friedman doesn’t really seem to know what constitutes “best” in education. What makes a professor the “best” often has to do with factors that have nothing to do with how that professor may come across in an online environment where the format is something of a lecture writ large or simply recorded. In most instances, the professor is behind the scenes, setting up tasks and discussions, not really present himself of herself. More important than “best,” which cannot be defined even for MOOCs, is “different.” If the MOOC is a substantially different means of learning, and an effective one, it could very well prove evolutionary.

A thought provoking post on MOOCs – MOOCs are here. How should state universities respond?

Almost inevitably, the advent of large-enrollment, on-line college courses will put many colleges and universities out of business, and dramatically reduce the size of many others. In this new environment, there may also be opportunities for some educational institutions to offer new and valuable components to college education (even if much-reduced in scale relative to plans they have made in the past).

This is where Higher Education Institutions would need to re-think about their vision and mission at this cross-road on the Future of Higher Education, charting out emergent pathways and strategies in response to those challenges and opportunities, through conversation, research,  experimentation, and innovation with technology and pedagogy.

Photo: from other post (Google)

MOOC images (10)

My reflection of Leadership in a networked world

If people haven’t heard a word from the leader and could still achieve the goals, then he/she could be the greatest leader. Why? Because, his or her actions speak out what he or she wants to communicate, not by words. It’s what people act (and serve) in the community/network that makes good leadership. And great leadership must come from people who shared the vision, when everyone becomes a leader, and at the end of the journey said: “We did it ourselves” (a quote from Lao Tze on leaders). The greatest leaders do not seek for fame or honor, like Jesus, but do require people to think, reflect and act, so we live our lives in full, despite obstacles and challenges.

#Change11 Education Model

Interesting analogy, Ken. VHS is now superseded by DVD, and Cloud aggregation, curation, and distribution through the media and webs (internet videos, Youtube).

How is the current HE model going to compete with these giant galaxies of formal education and informal learning in the internet – all filled with Udacity, edX, MOOCs, Networks, COPs, webs (a web of blogs), social media (FB, twitter)?

HE needs to leverage on those “affordances” to “resurrect”, as we have already witnessed the resurgence of higher education using different strategies like “flipping the classroom, class, education, or even the system – gamification in education” by some of the universities and FE colleges. This requires both courage in taking risks and leadership in steering education in the “right direction” and vision. But it also creates winners and failures, especially when the experiments didn’t work.

The use of more charismatic leaders to boost the morale and improve quality of education in individual institutions has been well known strategies for decades, but would that alone solve the problems?

Disruption due to technology, alternative “smarter” and “intelligent & pragmatic” education and learning cannot be solved alone by even the greatest leaders in the world, IMHO.

This is now a “system” and ecology problem, where supply and demand in education have gone imbalanced, especially when more learners are looking for better education, at a lower cost, and better teachers, resources, and learning environment.

Such challenges in current education model (HE in particular) is like the climate change, where we are feeling the heat, and the overall impact on each of us. It is not about money only, it is about how people could re-think the best uses of the abundant (not limited) resources available on the internet and webs. It requires sourcing the information, curating and feeding them to the audiences just like the newspapers that have been used for decades. It is where OER could be aggregated, reused, re-purposed, re-distributed and re-created to yield new and emergent education models, that would be relevant, based on just-in-time learning principles (without wastes, ideally, at the right time, right space, right cost, and right quality) that provides “best or optimum” values to each education system, educational institution, stakeholder, educator, learner.

This requires a total re-conceptualization of the education paradigm and the associated system, where the sole reliance of teacher – student interaction may need to be shifted to a wholesome enriching the engagement, interaction and experience for educators and learners. Terry Anderson’s latest session on engagement model well illustrates those points, as posted by George Hobson.

Image: From George’s post and Terry’s slide

Does it ring a bell?

John