MOOCs are hot, but is the sizzle about to fizzle?
A short history of distance learning:
- 1890s: Correspondence Courses
- 1920: 4 million people took correspondence courses
- 1993: Jones International University becomes first online U. [in the world]
- 2006: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) coined in 2008 by Canadians Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander
2012: The MOOC market explodes:
- 5 million: number of students enrolled in Coursera. 325 courses offered.
- $63 million: total amount of investment funding in Coursera
- 1.6 million students in 200 countries enrolled in Udacity. 26 courses offered.
- 370,000: first year enrollment in edX. Offers 94 courses
- $60 million: funding amount for edX, an MIT and Harvard project
Some new MOOCs: :
- San Francisco-based NovoEd is now offering courses directly from Stanford Business School.
- Berlin-based iversity is offering a wide range of courses from European educational institutions.
- Edraak, will be a MOOC portal for the Arab world
- In China – XuetangX
- France: Universite Numerique
Countries of origin: [where the MOOCs are coming from] :
- U.S.: 28%
- U.K. 11%
- India: 4.6%
- Brazil: 4.5%
- Canada: 4%
- Spain: 3.9%
- Australia: 3.5%
- Greece: 2.2 %
- Russia: 1.9%
- Germany: 1.8%
Why all the investment interest? :
- 2 billion potential learners around the world
- More than 70 percent of them cannot afford a college degree
- $400 billion: amount of money spent annually in U.S. on universities
- The $400 billion: more than the annual revenues of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter combined.
- 10 million: number of students who have taken at least one MOOC
FACT: mooc.org: Google is teaming up with EdX, to create mooc.org — a You Tube for MOOCs. It will be open to everyone, including businesses, governments, and private individuals.
BUT: 30% of employers believe a MOOC course represents a valid completion – Even so, that’s a major achievement.
To MOOC: :
- Most MOOCs are free or nearly free, a definite plus for the student.
- Provides a solution to overcrowding.
- Forces professors to improve lectures.
- Creates a dynamic archive.
- MOOCS are real college courses, complete with tests and grades.
- Brings people together from all over the world.
- Allows teachers to make the most of classroom time in blended classes. In a “flipped classroom,” teachers send students home with assignments to listen to or watch a recorded lecture
Or not to MOOC:
- It’s not about you, it’s about Money, Money, honey
- The motivation behind MOOCs is corporate profiteering.
- It’s part of a cost-cutting agenda to privatize public higher education
- MOOCs are the leading edge of the Wal-Martification of higher education.
- MOOCs create a two-tier education system.
- A “real” education for those who can afford to pay
- A bargain basement education for those able to only afford online options
- MOOCs are inferior
- they lack interpersonal exchange
- MOOCs are mechanistic
- education’s core values reducing to a mechanistic information-delivery process
- MOOCs are suffering from innovation exhaustion
- The sizzle will fizzle
- 93: failure rate percentage of students enrolled in MOOCs
- 150,000 to 1. Student to teacher ratio. Is that any way to learn? Grading papers is impossible.
That is the question.
Universities (paid) fight back:
Top 10 elite schools ALSO offer MOOCs
- Udemy: professors from universities like Dartmouth, the University of Virginia and Northwestern
- iTunes U: Apple’s free app “gives students access to all the materials for courses in a single place.
- FACT: 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up to Stanford’s Introduction to AI” course, with 23,000 reportedly completing.
- UC Berkeley
- Open Yale
- Carnegie Mellon
And now there are
SPOCs: Small Private Online Courses :
- New B-to-B concept: license online courses to a university or an organization or corporation.
- Colorado State Global Campus, first to offer SPOCs
- SPOCs have 17-25 students