MOOCs & flipping higher education
Donald Clark has given ten reasons why MOOCs flip higher education. While he makes some valid points, the post itself is overly influenced by the hype surrounding MOOCs and does not really provide a justification for how MOOCs address the problems he identifies in HE (deficiencies in pedagogy, some poor teaching and high costs). I particular: flip 2 suggests almost that MOOCs have been imposed on HE from outside rather than developed by HE; flip 4 from teaching to learning has been going on for a long time and certainly is embedded in the higher quality online (and face-to-face) programmes; flip 5 on assessments is pure conjecture as there are no actual MOOCs I’m aware of that provide for recognised credits (as in part of a national qualifications framework); flip 8 on criticism, yes some criticism is ridiculous but the credibility of MOOCs as learning has yet to be established, but the main criticism of monetisation is important (at least for the platform providers and VCs) and its hard to see how ROI can be established. Its the same for HEs but HEs may be involved for reasons other than as money-making opportunities (reputation enhancement, experimentation and innovation)
Fundamentally, the assumption that MOOCs have succeeded (and succeeded in what?) is not clear to me. Having said that, there are lots of good points here on online learning being as good or better than face-to-face, on the potential to drive greater responsiveness to demand for HE; being more learner-centric (and that’s before looking at a feudal timetable of HE and the balance of teaching vs research in reward and recognition in the sector. All good and interesting stuff but lets engage with what we know about MOOCs rather than what we’d which about them.