"...It’s also a factor that, as recently noted in the New York Times, signing up for a MOOC “takes less time than signing up for an iTunes account,” and that it then takes even less time simply to disappear from a crowd of 55,000..."
“For a Provost to speak about universities being obsolete may seem a bit incongruous but it was meant to be provocative,” said Masi as he opened his Nov. 14 lecture (Are Universities Obsolete?) in front of a standing room-only crowd in the ballroom of the Faculty Club.
While Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have attracted millions of viewers and been heralded as a potential way to address skyrocketing tuition, very few of their viewers - 4 percent on average - actually complete the courses, according to the latest study by researchers in Penn's Graduate School of Education"
Thoughts on the future of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
Tapson’s suspicion is that we’re past the Peak of Inflated Expectations (MOOCs are the future of global education!) and entering the Trough of Disillusionment (Hey, MOOCs haven’t cured cancer!), but that in the long run it will to turn out that they’re slowly but deeply disruptive of traditional higher education. He presents a chart of what he thinks will happen with MOOCs over the next 10 years:
He lays out his prediction in these terms:
[A] gradual but inexorably rolling change in societal and professional attitudes, pinned at one end by the bedrock certainty that the elite institutions produce the elite people, and pulled at the other end by the growing awareness that free isn’t necessarily junk, and it’s, well, free. It will take 10 or 20 years, and be imperceptible while it happens, like boiling a frog.
Now, Tapson acknowledges the very real possibility that there will only be a trough, and no subsequent climb-out—the possibility that, in other words, what MOOCs are experiencing right now isn’t the Gartner Hype Cycle at all, but rather just a plain old hype-and-bust cycle. That’s not what he predicts, though. What he predicts is “a very slow tsunami.”
For all the talk about the MOOC backlash setting in, the past few months have actually been an extremely fertile time for innovations in online learning, particularly when it comes to partnerships between MOOC purveyors and private companies. We’ve already discussed LinkedIn’s plans to create a “direct-to-profile” credential for completing courses, but as Forbes notes, this is only the tip of the iceberg, as a number of businesses are looking to use MOOCs as a cheap form of training for current employees:
What I’ll try and do now is present one possible model for a learning environment that promotes appropriate interactivity over a large scale. Now let’s say we have a course with 10,000 students enrolled in it (it can be any number really); how can a teacher or even a team of teachers get the necessary interactions occurring between them and the students. The problem occurs with the definition of teachers and students. I believe that every participant in the course is a participant learner, even those that created the course. These learners have varying degrees of subject matter expertise ranging from none to a master of the subject. What we need to do is to enable interactions between learners with high subject matter expertise with those with none or low expertise. Ideally there will be enough high level subject matter expert (SME) learners in the cohort (not just the teaching group) to facilitate those interactions. Now that’s easy to say but how do you make it happen? How do you get SMEs to stay in the learning environment.
Here are some possible steps:
Create a learning environment for the course that is open and continuous.Learners self proclaim their level of expertise.Allow for voting on the value of a piece of interaction.Retain and grow the number subject matter experts.
Research & Practice in Assessment is an online journal dedicated to the advancement of scholarly discussion between researchers and practitioners in the field of student learning outcomes assessment in higher education.