Thursday, September 19, 2013

MOOCs to the rescue! (in lowering tuition)

I wish I could find a caricature of a personification of a MOOC as a super hero. It would fit really well in this post :)  I was recently reading a news item on the washington post titled The Tuition is Too Damn High, Part IX: Will MOOCs save us?

I have to say that it's amazing to me that Khan Academy is still included in the MOOC category even though Khan Academy isn't really about MOOCs.  That said, who knows, maybe in the future Khan Academy might turn into a MOOC-shop in the future (if they see money in it).

Anyway, the point of this post is really about the flipped classroom model, and not about MOOCs.  Sure, the Washington Post talks about MOOCs as a potential savior for Universities and Student's wallets but what the article really is talking about is using MOOC content as a way to flip the face to face classroom; and this has nothing to do with MOOCs. It seems to me that if we didn't have money, time, energy, and/or the will to create resources for our flipped classrooms before what makes us think that we will have any (or all) of those now?  Even if we do create flipped classrooms (which I think is a grand idea), how does this address the issue of cost?

It seems to me that we have this excitement and fear about the MOOC.  Some people are probably chanting The University is Dead. Long Live the MOOC. And others are probably getting their pitch forks and going after that MOOC Demon. The big question is why aren't we really looking for some in-between road? And, why should MOOC resources be used to fill in for deficiencies in campus courses?  What we ought to be doing is some proper instructional design, and if MOOC resources fit the bill (and are free and open), then by all means use them. But, you shouldn't base your course solely on what's available free and open in a MOOC.  That is, potentially, a recipe for disaster.

Your thoughts?
blog comments powered by Disqus