7 Common Mistakes About Open Online Education

21 Jul

By Joshua Kim

Here are my top 7 mistakes that pundits and critics make when they talk about open online education:

Mistake #1: “Open Online Courses Are a Substitute for Traditional Courses”

Higher order learning is an activity that cannot be scaled. Foundational knowledge may be appropriate for a MOOC (or a textbook, or even a really well-designed educational video game), but advanced learning works best with an educator.

The skills that are most valuable for both personal growth and for employment are those best practiced in the context of a relationship with an educator. These skills include critical thinking, judgement, the ability to synthesize large amounts of information, and a facility in making persuasive arguments using evidence.

Mistake #2: “MOOCs Are Synonymous with Online Education”

The online thing that traditional online education and open online education have in common is that both are done at a distance. MOOCs are all about scale and access. Traditional online education (when done well) is all about intimacy and quality. A traditional online course is built around the presence and connections of a small cohort of learners, all being led by an experienced and skilled educator.

Developing MOOCs may help schools build technical capacity in traditional online education, as many of the same learning design and educational media principals apply. But these are fundamentally different educational activities, and should never be confused as sharing goals, methods, or lessons.

Mistake #3: “Open Online Education Will Drive Down the Cost of Education”

What open online education is doing is pushing colleges and universities to ensure that our traditional educational offerings are truly valuable. Any school that offers traditional courses (be these courses residential, online, or blended) that are no better than what can be had online and for free will be in deep trouble.

[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: ]

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Posted by on July 21, 2015 in MOOCs in the News, Op-Ed


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