If you build it, they will come!

MOOCs is a bad idea, just like books.  It turns out that this bad idea becomes one of the very first ideas to transform higher education, as witnessed in these few years.

If you build it, they will come, that is where internet was built, the itune was built, and now the MOOCs.

People will come, when there are super professors, elite institutions, and venture capital investors building up the MOOCs.  People are yearning for knowledge, higher education, even though if it is costing them something, just that something they could afford.

People will watch the best professors of the elite institutions presenting their lectures, so far if they could access those videos for free, from any where in the world.   They would be especially thankful, if they are from those developing or under-developing countries, who don’t even have access to Higher Education, or that they are too costly for them.

It is a great idea, coming from the freebies, as I have shared in my past post.  Believe in MOOCs, that would be sustainable, if educators and venture capitalists, institutions are going to build it.  Surely, there would be millions or billions of people coming, who are looking for free Higher Education.

MOOC is a great idea, not a bad one.  Huh!  It motivates people to get the best education in the world!

If you build MOOC, people will come.  Just a matter of time, and how much you could invest into it.

How to save Higher Education?

What should we do to save Higher Education?

I wonder if we could use energy as a metaphor to Higher Education.  Can we save energy (Higher Education) using a behavioral approach?  Rather than telling people how much they could save by investing in education, or what benefits they could have in receiving Higher Education, could we compare how much we could save as compared to our neighbor in terms of the expense (cost) we could save by having Higher Education?

The need of intellectual and scholastic development, not just skills

I am all for the intellectual development, creative, critical thinking skills and scientific mindset embedded in degrees courses offered by Higher Education institutions.

I still believe in degrees offered by Universities to be of great education values to students, and so Higher Education is here to stay.   As compared to Vocational Education and Training, Higher Education calls for a “higher” order education and learning which requires more than the practical and vocational skills, and are challenging people to further their advancement in the creation of new and emergent knowledge and research capability, so as to tackle more difficult and complex wicked problems in the world.

It is overly simplistic and short sighted to provide industry and businesses with a pool of “skilled” labors who could competently do the existing work only.  The world requires a futuristic sets of literacies and competencies where jobs and careers are yet to be created and established.

So, my question is:  Is MOOC the answer to these problems and challenges?

I don’t have the answer.

MOOC – A reflection of a summary video

Here is a good summary of MOOC.

It is about connecting brains as I have shared about Connectivism.

we could connect one’s brain to others’ “brains” that will lead to continuously improved and innovative solutions for each of us and the network in this digital age – networks including yourself with collective wisdom with emergent knowledge.

I would like to add that MOOCs are not just for education, but more importantly for learning.  Here I share:

I doubt if the traditional “xMOOCs” would really challenge the learners and graduates in terms of their talents and intelligence, though most, if not all students are so used to consuming huge amount of information direct from the professors.  Is that a dilemma that both professors and students are facing when delivering an online course solely by “teaching” the students what is to be taught, by covering all the content required to pass the test or examinations?

To learn with the best professors in the world might be one of the aspiration of many students who don’t have access to Higher Education, though there might be lots of students too who prefer to learn in solitude or with their own peers.  Is learning with best professors and teachers always providing the best outcome?  May be not, as this depends on whether the students are able to learn “what is being taught”.

This is why I think each of our students are different, in terms of their needs, and motivation in learning, and that we shouldn’t just assume what “we” want to educate is what they want in their learning.

Could MOOCs save Higher Education?

May be that is the future MOOCs.

Thanks to the professors and Higher Education Institutions for the offer of free education.  We do hope that more personalized education and learning are available through MOOCs though in the future.

Postscript:  Just found this MOOC.  Sounds interesting for k-12 teacher education.