The MOOC Revolution – massive open online courses: the answer to problems facing education or an experiment that could destroy centuries of tradition.
Given the emerging nature of massive open online courses (MOOCs), this paper is a synthesis of critical reflections, commentaries and cautionary tales from a variety of perspectives, looking at the issues facing education and considering whether traditional teaching methods have outlived their usefulness.
In times where educational institutions are facing financial cuts and student debt increases, some argue free university online courses will be the saviour of education, (Koller et al, 2013). Others argue they could destroy centuries of tradition and threaten some of the world's greatest universities (Vardi 2012).
This paper, builds on the research by examining some of the phenomenal changes to technology enhanced learning, being brought about by new technologies and business. It summarises some of the key discourses around MOOCs, which continue to generate heated debates and divide opinions about their credibility, value and importance. I argue that any form of technology that drives engaging and tailored education, precisely to the needs of the individuals, coupled with opening up education to those that cannot afford it, has to be a viable alternative and make traditional, academic institutions question their offerings and respond.
Christensen, C. (1997). The innovator’s dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Clark, D. (2013) MOOCs: taxonomy of 8 types of MOOC. Available at: http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=MOOCs:+taxonomy (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Coursera. (2014) ‘Coursera conference data.’ Paper presented at the Coursera Partners’ Conference. London, UK: University of London, 1-3.
Creelman, A. (2013) Make hay while the sun shines. Available at: http://acreelman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/make-hay-while-sun-shines.html (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Cusack, A. (2014) MOOCs By the Numbers. Available at: http://ideas.ted.com/moocs-by-the-numbers-where-are-we-now (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Downes, S. (2010) Fairness and equity in education. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/democratizing-education_b_794925.html (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Edutech Associates (2013) Internet of Learning-Things. Available at: http://bit.ly/1g3wPGP (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Ferguson, R.and Whitelock, D. (2014) ‘Taking on different roles: how educators position themselves in MOOCs.’ In: Rensing, C., de Freitas, S., Ley, T. and Mu˜noz-Merino, P.J. (eds.) Open Learning and Teaching in Educational Communities. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (8719). Cham: Springer International Publishing, 562-563.
Freeman, S., Eddy, S.L., McDonough, M., Smith, M.K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H. and Wenderoth, M.P. (2014) ‘Active Learning increases student performance in science, engineering and mathematics.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415.
Gutek, G. L. (1991) An historical introduction to American education, 2nd edn. Long Grove: Waveland Press.
Heppell, S. (2011) Is this the death of education and the dawn of learning Melbourne: Paper presented at Creative Innovation, 16 November 2011.
Jenkins, H. (2009) Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Available at: https://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/free_download/9780262513623_Confronting_the_Challenges.pdf (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Kaplan, A.M. and Haenlein, M. (2016) ‘Higher education and the digital revolution: About MOOCs, SPOCs, social media, and the Cookie Monster.’ Business Horizons, July-August 2016, 59(4), 441-450.
Khan Academy. (2014) Press Room. Available at: https://khanacademy.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/202483630-Press-room (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Koller, D., Ng, A., Do, C. and Chen, Z. (2013) Retention and Intention in Massive Open Online Courses: In Depth. Available at: http://er.educause.edu/articles/2013/6/retention-and-intention-in-massive-open-online-courses-in-depth (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Laurillard, D. (2014) What is the problem for which MOOCs are the solution? Available at: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/blog/2014/06/what-is-the-problem-for-which-moocs-are-the-solution/#gref (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Marcus, G. (2009) Kluge: the Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind. London: Faber.
Maslen, G. (2012) MOOCs challenge higher education’s business models. Available at: http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20120831103842302 (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
McGhee, P. (2012) ‘Why online courses can never totally replace the campus experience’, Guardian, 19 November 2012 [Online], Available at https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/19/open-online-courses-higher-education (Accessed 24 November 2011).
McGill, (2014) A Brief History of MOOCs]. Available at: http://www.mcgill.ca/maut/current-issues/moocs/history (Accessed: 29 September 2014).
Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. (2014) Blended Learning Report. Available at: http://5a03f68e230384a218e0-938ec019df699e606c950a5614b999bd.r33.cf2.rackcdn.com/MSDF-Blended-Learning-Report-May-2014.pdf (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Montessori, M. (2008) The Montessori Method. Radford: Wilder Publications.
Mulhern, J. (1959) A history of education: A social interpretation. 2nd edn. New York: Ronald Press Co.
OECD. (2012) Education at a Glance 2012: Highlights, OECD Publishing. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag_highlights-2012-en (Accessed: 29 September 2014).
Orme, N. (2001) Medieval Children. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Reich, J. (2013) Is a MOOC a textbook or a course? Available at: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2013/05/is_a_mooc_a_textbook_or_a_course.html (Accessed: 29 September 2014).
Rivero, V. (2013) Play It Again, Nolan. Available at: https://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/play-it-again-nolan (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Rocketship (2014) Rocketship. Available at: http://www.rsed.org/index.cfm (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Tapscott, D. (2009) Grown up digital: How the Net generation is changing your world. New York: McGraw-Hill.
The White House. (2013) Remarks by the President on the BRAIN Initiative and American Innovation. Available at: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/02/remarks-president-brain-initiative-and-american-innovation (Accessed: 15 January 2017).
UNESCO (2014) How could adults by illiterate? Available at: http://enikki.mitsubishi.or.jp/e/event/index6.html (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
UNESCO (2014) Wanted: Trained teachers to ensure every child’s right to primary education. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002299/229913E.pdf (Accessed: 15 January 2017).
Vardi, M.Y. (2012) Will MOOCs Destroy Academia? Available at: http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2012/11/156587-will-moocs-destroy-academia/fulltext (Accessed: 24 September 2014).
Waller, W. (1961) The sociology of teaching. New York: Russell & Russell.
Witherspoon, J. (2002) Open Courseware and Developing Countries: Building a Community. Report of the Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries, convened in Paris by UNESCO 1-3 July 2002. Available at: http://www.hewlett.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/OpenCourseWareandDevelopingCountries.pdf (Accessed: 29 September 2014).
- There are currently no refbacks.