MOOCs or Massive Online Open Courses providers, such as Coursera, EdX, Udacity, Academy Bridge and many more have come and disrupted the higher education scenery. High profile schools are now able to access students from around the world, in thousands, for free and through a very user-friendly platform. Many, including myself, became quick fans and have rushed to participate, test and experience for ourselves. An article I read today at Inside Higher Education though (a site that I recommend you to follow) titled “Did MOOCs Just Make Landfall? 10 Questions to Consider” made me reconsider. So here I am, my 5+1 questions on MOOC:
- Are the single University/College degrees history? Will I as a distance learning student in the future be able to get a fully accredited degree provided by Harvard and MIT and ESADE and LBS and India Business School through the platform?
- Are such providers like Coursera and the rest to form the new rankings, which will be based more on reputation and popularity?
- Will students/participants be able to shape the above rankings by an evaluation system that will measure their performance as well as satisfaction on the learning and teaching provided?
- The current thought around the business model of MOOC providers is mainly around shared revenues from Colleges that will offer courses for a fee, which will probably be accompanied with a number of credits. Does that mean that Universities, with the increasing pressure for cost-cutting, will try to limit their top courses to only the people that are willing to pay for them and therefore limit the initial intention and goal of high quality Education to All?
- Are we ignoring the learning effects of the community, the physical environment and the relationship amongst teacher and students for the sake of flexibility and speed?
6. Are we disrupting education in order to use similar tools… again? Such as standardized testing and evaluation of student performance based on same tests for all kinds of intelligence? Do we still refrain from focusing on the need of interaction of arts and science, moral education and alternative teaching methodologies?
Any thoughts on this?