by Stephen Downes
Aug 25, 2015
Open education the sustainable way in the knowledge age
University World News,
Interview article with Wayne Mackintosh on open educational resources and the history of OER University (OERu). The section on MOOCs is interesting: "Open education advocates do not believe that commercial MOOCs provide a sustainable way to widening tertiary access. 'There are significant points of difference between the commercial MOOC provider model and the OERu model,' Mackintosh said. 'First, we provide real academic credit towards real credentials, whereas commercial MOOC providers do not provide formal academic credit. Second, commercial MOOC providers will not be able to compete with the cost efficiencies of the OERu model, where courses are based entirely on open access resources.'"
6 concerns students have about MOOCs
So here we have yet another instance of the classic survey study featuring "84 undergraduate students recruited from a variety of courses at a large, urban Midwestern university" being published in an academic journal and (even worse) being treated as real news. More, this survey is about MOOCs - and I have to ask, why would you ask people who are already in university what concern they have about MOOCs? For example, consider this result: " Many students feel the information available through MOOCs, in particular c-MOOCs (peer-based MOOCs), is not of the same quality as the information they receive in a formally structured, traditional college course." I wonder how many of them have even taken a cMOOC (which is not a 'peer-based MOOC') and how they are in a position to judge. More, I wonder whether the fact that they have already paid tens of thousands for a traditional education may influence their perception of what others are getting for free. This could be (and probably is) an example of the sunk costs fallacy.
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