Following on from my previous article in February, around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), this article looks further into what has happened in this area over the past few months. MOOCs have been mentioned on BBC’s Newsnight to conferences. The number of providers and courses have increased. This article examines what role, MOOCs can play as a technology that could bring about a wider change in the higher education sector.
A new UK based MOOC provider, FutureLearn launched on the 18th September 2013 at the British Library in London, with guests including the Universities Minister David Willetts. FutureLearn joins some of the biggest US providers such as Coursera, EdX and Udacity.
This post is both a brief summary of thoughts and my reflects on the MOOCs movement which I have observed and continue to observe as a participant, including talks I have attended. If you are in Learning Technology (or even if you are not), then you will not have failed to see the rise of the MOOC (that’s Massive Open Online Courses). Here’s a video explaining the concept too.
The Annual Draper’s Lecture at the Teaching & Learning Conference at Queen Marys, University of London was the first MOOC themed talk I attended on the 16th January, presented by Vice Chancellor of the Open University, Martin Bean, entitled “MOOCs, Napster and the Tyranny of Conventional Wisdom: Where’s the Next Giant Leap for Higher Education?” The talk highlights many of the challenges to the higher education section in the UK and some examples of how other industries where change has been slow have seen their customers go elsewhere.