Like many Australian academics, I have observed the MOOC phenomenon with interest and trepidation.
The course delivery platform is generally equal to the platforms I’ve used at four tertiary institutions where I’ve studied, with a couple of minor improvements (the “chunking” of lectures into short videos; the “vote” function on discussion boards to raise important or interesting topics to the top of the forum; integrating self-test multiple choice questions into video).
However, Australian universities shouldn’t feel that the technology is much more advanced than our existing learning management systems.
Assessment was thoughtfully developed and appropriate for the course content. The feedback and critical self-reflection demonstrate clear pedagogical objectives, but the subjectivity of some of the self assessment presents challenges for the model.
MOOCs are rightly being observed as a disruptive force in higher education. However, until these courses can contribute to the credentials of a degree from a reputable educational institution, they will be a diversion from an integrated, scaffolded degree or diploma.
But for me, I’m proud of my Coursera achievement and my certificate, and will certainly be adding it to my CV to impress potential employers and others, and I think many Australian and international students will too.
Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Vance Stevens