By Dr. Jeff Borden, Pearson
In February, I took a trip London where I spoke at the OBHE conference at a session called “Online and open-access learning in higher education: MOOCs, new pedagogies and business models.” It was actually a fairly lively discussion, debate, and driving conversation about the massive online courses coming out of North America and now beginning to come out of other parts of the world.
What interested me most was what seemed to be about 80% fear and 20% excitement by the gathering of educators (mostly faculty). It was also interesting that most of those who were currently building massive open online courses (MOOCs) were doing so under some kind of duress. From pressure of being left behind to mounting pressure from administrators to even financial pressure to grab a “piece of the MOOC pie,” it seemed rare to find a MOOC builder who was doing so because of the innovation or excitement over the possibilities of helping facilitate learning for so many potential students.
Instead, much of the conversation surrounded problems with the MOOC concept. Primary to this was concern over the educational efficacy of these experiences. Most educators seem to understand that ALL eLearning will be judged on the effectiveness of MOOCs… right or wrong, these massive courses are going to be our litmus test. Obviously this is problematic – imagine evaluating the safety of driving based solely on studying Nascar races.
[ Full article available at Wired.com: http://www.wired.com/insights/2013/05/the-mooc-heard-around-the-world/ ]