Wednesday, May 11, 2016

MOOCs and higher education: evolution or revolution? - John Daniel, Oxford University Press Blog

Four years after the MOOCs craze began, where are we today? MOOCs provide a good example of our tendency to overestimate the significance of innovations in the short term whilst underestimating their long-term impact. The early predictions of a revolution in higher education proved false, and the idea that MOOCs could be the answer to the capacity problems of universities in the developing world was especially silly. Nevertheless, MOOCs are a significant phenomenon. Over 4,000 MOOCs are available worldwide and register 35 million learners at any given time. As they have multiplied they have diversified, so that, as this cartoon implies, the meaning of every word in the acronym MOOC is now negotiable. So MOOCs themselves are not a revolution in higher education but they are having multiple knock-on effects in the way that it is offered. They have sparked a steady increase in the offering of all types of academic programmes online, stimulated trends towards shorter courses, and an expanded range of credentials.

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