A quick note on MOOCs and what to think about them

So I completed my first MOOC earlier this week (recommendable course!), and that obviously makes me a bona fide authority on the topic to make claims about its future šŸ˜‰ nah, just wanted to write down some notes on MOOCs, because I think there’s heaps of potential there for higher education. Or any type of education, for that matter.

Last year Wired published an interesting piece on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and the hype surrounding them, and in a similar vein Harvard Magazine also tackled this topic that many claimed was to change the higher education landscape once and for all. Well, what happened then? Sure, MOOCs have increased and much has happened since MOOCs first were introduced, but student retention rates clearly indicate we haven’t seen the full potential of online education. And here’s the catch: MOOCs are not supposed to replace ‘traditional’ classroom education and learning, but instead we should focus more on blended learning. That is to say, how could we merge online with the offline? Individual learning with team efforts?

Perhaps one of the most important changes MOOCs can bring to higher education is that they enable students to progress at their own pace. No more do the students have to worry if they can’t take a certain course: instead of waiting for twelve months for the course to be offered again, students can enroll to the course much earlier and thus devote their energy and attention to things that really matter. Learning, that is. 

To conclude, two issues worth highlighting. 

1) How do we design courses so that they enable students to progress at their own pace?

2) How do we blend online and offline into one seamless student-driven learning experience?

Have a good weekend, everybody! šŸ™‚   

3 thoughts on “A quick note on MOOCs and what to think about them

  1. God knows how many MOOCs I’ve started but never finished. On the other hand, I wouldn’t necessarily even consider finishing a course as the primary milestone of a MOOC as much as having a structured learning environment at your fingertips.

  2. Thanks for your comments! Couldn’t agree more with you. One interesting aspect here would indeed be how can we move from single courses to a structured environment. Definitely worth looking into!

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