Large online courses called MOOCs can reach millions of registered users over time. But Stephen Downes, an online education promoter, says these free resources are not living up to their full potential to help students and professors.
He argues that MOOC’s suppliers, including Coursera and edX, require registration to obtain content. In other words, the only way to get all the materials inside is to register and enter this wall of online courses.
You may be wondering: what’s the big deal? Too many sites need to be logged in to access content, right?
Well, Downs says there are a number of difficulties with requiring enrollment, even if it’s free – making it more difficult or even impossible for students to easily find potentially useful lecture videos in Internet searches or to assign other professors pieces of the curriculum. As resources in their own teaching.
Downs has a special relationship with MOOC. He appears to have co-taught in 2008 with George Siemens, now executive director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington. His curriculum inspired the term “MOOCs” and the whole new industry.
On this week’s AdSerge podcast, we hear from both Siemens and Downs about what they can learn from early MOOCs experiments — and where they see free learning.
And now is the time to rethink open courses. Earlier this year, Harvard and other manufacturers of MIT and edX agreed to sell their nonprofit MOOC Platform 2U to a for-profit company. As a result, विक्री 800 million from sales will go to create new nonprofits with the goal of creating a new nonprofit with the mission: “To redesign the future of learning for people at all stages of life, to eliminate educational inequalities, and to advance the next generation learning experience and platform.” The fund is considering what it will do and what it will support.