As I keep moving along the pathway of creating my own online course, I thought back to the rise of MOOCs. First let me say I am not designing my course to look anything like the massive online courses I have seen or even dipped my toe into. As I have said earlier I am more interested in leaning toward blended learning which is on the opposite side of the online spectrum in my opinion. I believe the most important part of a learning environment surrounds relation building and that cannot happen in these huge courses. However this doesn’t discount the possibilities that MOOCs offer.
In the last decade MOOCs hit the scene and were thought to be the great equalizer in higher education. As of 2017, 58 million people have signed up for a MOOC. However, as Robert Ubell notes early completion rates hovered around 7 percent. While they have increased to just over 12 percent recently, MOOCs don’t appear to be the educational revolution like projected by many (Ubell, 2017). To me MOOCs lack the fundamental component that make learning enjoyable, interaction. Any time you get a massive number of people together it is hard to achieve the true relationship building that is necessary for successful motivation. I view MOOCs more like Udemy classes. I see them as resources that people use to build knowledge but not true “classrooms” where learners come together. However with more and more employers looking for their people to gain skills training many MOOCs will find a resurgence. Ed Breaux predicts this phenomena. He suggests, “Keep your eyes open. MOOCs will suddenly seem disruptive over the next decade, but it will be because of countless smaller changes among employers” (Breaux,2017). So if higher education doesn’t drive a change maybe the job market will.
I look forward to continue my thinking around online learning next week.
Breaux, E. (2016, January 30). Why have MOOCs failed to disrupt education? Retrieved February 03, 2017, from https://www.quora.com/Why-have-MOOCs-failed-to-disrupt-education
Ubell, R. (2017, January 16). How the pioneers of the MOOC got it wrong. Retrieved February 03, 2017, from http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/at-work/education/how-the-pioneers-of-the-mooc-got-it-wrong