MOOCs are a fundamental misperception of how teaching works

Mark Guzdial, Jan 04, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

focuses on xMOOCs like Coursera and Udacity, basically ignoring cMOOCs. He argues MOOCs misrepresent how teaching works because:

  • The main activity of a higher-education teacher is not to lecture
  • A teacher is an expert at teaching the topic, and the teaching is dependent on the domain
  • The job of the teacher is to educate, not filter, and that includes motivating students

He writes, "There is evidence that MOOCs do not teach. We knowthat MOOCs have a low completion rate. What most people don’t realize is that the majority of those who complete already knew the content. MOOCs offer a one-size-fits-few model, unchanging between content domains, that does not change for individual students (I know that they hope that it will opne day, but it doesn’t now)."

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