Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rethinking MOOCs

When MOOCs first came to the scene I expressed skepticism about their ultimate value for teaching and their capacity to really reduce costs without reducing educational quality (here, here). This, remember, was the selling point: more for less.  Flash forward to today and it seems that the problems with MOOCs is becoming more and more apparent. Sure, high tech has a role to play in education (sort of like overhead projectors and power point) but it is not the panacea bureaucrats and entrepreneurs like to hype (no doubt for only purely reasons, like moving large amounts of money into their nap accounts).  Well, it seems that MOOCs have hit their high water mark and skepticism about their general educational value is being reassessed. Not surprisingly, they can bring good results, but only if labor intensively used. Also, not surprisingly, it seems that getting people to use them means lowing what MOOCs are used to do. Here's a discussion. I don't buy it all, but it's a good sign of where the discussion is heading.

1 comment:

  1. But here is a nice defense of them, if undertaken by people with a definite concept of what they are trying to do:

    Not the least of the point being to make things available to possible Ramanujans in the back blocks of Pakistan, Zaire, etc.