- What can a MOOC do? What does it do for its participants? Will it decimate Higher Ed as some claim?
In the future students will be able to learn almost any soft skill related to their work at zero cost... And study any course that their heart desires. Surely the MOOC is the future of lifelong learning. This may however wear away at the higher ed institutions.
BUT does it not mean that higher order thinking skills will remain the enclave of the higher ed institution? The higher ed experience of going through the 7 year process to reach a PhD may never be replaced. But the vast majority of people never reach that far anyway. Perhaps the MOOC is the education experience the rest of us have always needed...
Are these cataclysmic changes afoot? Some think so:
- But let's go back a step, what is a MOOC? Well there seem to be 2 types of MOOCs, cMOOCs or connectivist MOOCs aka online conferences and xMOOCs aka online courses. All of this is described here:
- George Siemens was one of the pioneers of cMOOCs and interestingly he sees them as a platform. This causes some consternation when you mix a MOOC with an LMS/VLE platform:
- I think MOOCS (of 1 variety or another) will replace some courses at institutions. Harder creative skills such as programming and the like will likely go this way. Perhaps though the extended 4 year model will remain and students will still seek this out to learn skills (e.g. the higher order thinking skills mentioned earlier) in depth. Question is will it still be necessary to go for a 3 stage approach such as a BA, then MA then PhD? 7 or so years spent being educated as an adult is a long long time...
- If MOOCs replace the HR training department (rather than the higher ed class) will anyone recognise the learning or qualifications? I think that is still very largely open to debate...
In regards to the rhizomatic model mentioned Thursday. I say hocus, pocus, diddely docus... This cMOOC that we are in (MOOCMOOC) has been guided by experts. These experts are experts in MOOCs and education. Without the expert "guide on the side" the community will not know what to learn, where to look, what activities will lead to a good learning experience etc. I do think online learning is here to stay and in the future it will look in some ways like a MOOC but in other ways it may look very different (and is already happening in 1000's of online discussion forums around the planet anyway)...
- BUT if I had to make my call which MOOC will ultimately win I would vote for the cMOOC. The cMOOC experience over the last week on this course has been nothing short of stunning. Despite the foibles of canvas and the lack of structure (some called it chaos) of the online course as it progressed through the week, I can attest to the fact that at all times I was cognitively on the edge of my seat. At all times working in the higher echelons of good old Blooms taxonomy of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. And this is why such a mooc must win... it is, like a good book, just too good an experience to put down...
But what will the "establishment" make of this "threat"?
- Interestingly AACSB are also looking at MOOCS. AACSB are one of the major accrediting bodies for Business Schools. Assurance of Learning processes are an involved process. How would a MOOC be viewed by an accrediting body? By the look of things, they are grouping it with "non traditional" learning. Why does this bother me?
- So what is the future of the B School?
- Looks like anyone can do it:
- Another business course presently running is from the Ross School of Business Michigan University:
I have started a SWOT analysis project which is openly editable and commentable. Feel free to throw any brickbats or suggestions in the comments or simply edit the document to update it.
- While some on the course raised the idea of theories such as peeragogy being behind MOOC learning: