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MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
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David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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6/11/2013 | 1:54:38 PM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
Good essay on Inside Higher Education about why faculty concerns about new forms of online education are misplaced: http://www.insidehighered.com/...
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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6/11/2013 | 1:47:59 PM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
Have you taken a Coursera or edX course? They are different because they are designed for the potential of very large enrollments, whether that's good or bad, and much more fully automated and peer to peer interaction as opposed to interaction with the instructor. Also, they are free (unless you want to pay extra for some validated testing). Keith's column is more about what MOOCs might evolve into, rather than what they are today. Still, I think it muddies the issues to talk about them as if they were no different from the more "traditional" online courses that were fee-based and designed for smaller classes. Maybe they're not as radically different and revolutionary as some boosters would claim, but MOOCs are different.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2013 | 11:04:36 AM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
MOOC as in online courses are around for at least a decade. Technology now allows for a larger reach, but in the end it is the same online learning. The students get less face time, get less services, and have to pay the same tuition to get credits while upstarts and universities have much less cost per student. I took courses online and they suck. In fact, the university I went to even charged noticeably more for online courses than for traditional on campus courses. They make money, that is already a fact.
Keith Fowlkes
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Keith Fowlkes,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/10/2013 | 8:51:23 PM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
I understand your caution but you, of all people, know how I like to "stir the pot," especially in thinking about the future MOOCs! ;)
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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6/10/2013 | 6:28:08 PM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
I enjoyed the column, but yes my caution is that there will be plenty of other changes and adjustments coming, both in reaction to the MOOCs and independently of them.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/10/2013 | 6:25:38 PM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
I don't follow you. Right now, the MOOC operations like Coursera are in Internet startup mode and have yet to prove they can make money. The universities offering MOOC courses are essentially operating on the Costco model - giving away free samples and hoping some fraction of students will decide to become tuition-paying students (or that the attention will have marketing value that will bring in other students). The "cash cow" may be a hoped for result, but it has yet to materialize.
Keith Fowlkes
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Keith Fowlkes,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/10/2013 | 5:58:29 PM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
David, yes, I meant this article to be more for speculation and extrapolation- lots of "what ifs." I expect the MOOC development process to take many tumbles and turns in the coming years. I'm really more interested to see what readers' ideas and extrapolations bring to the discussion. You could call this a thought provoking piece. :)
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
6/10/2013 | 5:17:20 PM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
The biggest problem with most MOOC is that they do not come with credits. Yes, it is the same course and the same material and I learn the same, but in order to get the credit I need to pay the excessively huge tuition expenses. That means MOOC is nothing but a cash cow for a university. This way more students can be served while spending less money but getting the same big fat check from all of them. And that is something students should be excited about? I don't think so!
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/10/2013 | 4:47:43 PM
re: MOOC-utopia: Who Really Wins?
One problem with this argument is the linear extrapolation from the current boom in interest in MOOCs, which is a phenomenon of the past year or so. I'm thinking in terms of what science fiction writers call the "if this goes on" fallacy, which you can read more about here - http://clarkesworldmagazine.co... -- good for an entertaining story, but not necessarily solid in terms of prediction.
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