MOOC Backlash
Just How Important Are MOOCs?
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  • Anthony

    Power of data: MOOCs are theoretically new modes of course delivery at university (college) level. The model is not going anywhere but will undoubtedly refine itself and become componebt utilized by more enterprising institutions (once cost factor and return reaches identified ratio).

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    I’m struck by the statement
    in the article “Despite this background, developing the MOOC was almost a
    full-time job. It took 50 to 100 hours of preparation for each lecture.”,
    without any mention of how long it took to write the text book or to prep for
    normal lectures, and most important that once the video lecture is in the can,
    no additional work is EVER required. In this way once the course is in the can,
    all the professor need do is sit back and collect the royalties.

  • mgoodfel

    If they split the awarding of a degree (testing for competence) away from the university that does the education (sitting in classes), that would be transformation enough. Most students are just paying for the degree, not the process.

    Motivated students could learn a lot on their own, through the net, cooperating in small groups, etc. The MOOC is nice, but it’s not the only way to learn.

  • MarkE

    MOOCs seem to be attracting the kind of students who are basically “complexity workers”, i.e., they support all the complex mechanisms in our world that often require advance degrees. The way these courses are presently designed they are ideal for becoming instruction manuals for complex tasks. Since they are online they can be updated, frequently and easily which is another requirement of continuing education for complex tasks. We already see this for computer programming qualification courses and continuing education for the licensed professions.
    For those with shorter attention spans education set in a game format like “Modern Warcraft 3” would work better. In fact we are told that many soldiers (regular and irregular) practice with these games. I’m pretty sure the complexity workers would appreciate a little bit of this spice also.
    But there will always be some place for education that requires hands-on-experience, laboratory facilities, physical presence, and face-to-face social interaction. Perhaps more than ever with the advent of more widely consumed MOOCs, but just more selectively chosen and prescribed.

  • Fat_Man

    You are welcome.

  • Joseph Blieu

    I don’t think these classes will replace a significant portion of
    Bachelors Degree requirements for a long time. They will be used as
    supplemental texts in regular courses and in “Instructor guided
    learning” classes when the particular institution does not offer
    advanced courses itself. The most useful and grand idea is to allow
    high school students to break free of restrictive boundaries and take
    college calc chem and phys classes early and allow them to be more
    competitive with ivy students of advantage. Some bright kids have a
    special tutor or friend, or go to some summer programs that let them get
    an advancement over less sophisticated peers. It will be interesting
    to see if a regular kid who fights through linear algebra or multi
    variable calc in a mooc at 17 yrs gets the same leg up.

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