Moodle MOOC: Session with Bryan Alexander

The session „MOOCs and Ubiquitous Computing“ (June 22nd) was very interesting and informative although unfortunately we had massive sound problems. I already had looked at the slides before the session which was a good thing because I was distracted by a nearby major fire. Thankfully (now we know) the huge black cloud of smoke from 4.800 tons of burning styrofoam granulate wasn’t dangerous, but the fire-fighting operations went on for hours. Back to the session.

Bryan Alexander told about 3 different possible futures and there were many convincing arguments for each: 1. MOOCs exacerbate problems 2. Open world 3. MOOC bubble pops

  • The star cult in MOOCs and the concern about face-to-face education only available for elites
  • More access to information, more creativity, academic content „unleashed“ on the world, information literacy becoming even more important – on the other hand outsourcing, offshoring, less privacy and the problem of unclear authorship
  • There are already many MOOC platforms (mostly xMOOCs), many more are on the way but will they succeed or go bust? At the moment, the media coverage is remarkably positive – what happens if that changes? (and I believe that is likely)

My conclusion: Whatever happens in the future, Universities have to think now about their position regarding MOOCs and how they affect learning.

And therefore it’s good to be informed – there is plenty of  literature regarding the topic MOOCs. I have lots of bookmarks and especially like the MOOC field report from the University of Edinburgh because of the detailed summary of their experiences with Coursera.