MOOCs and the Elite Edupunk Way

Darren Draper, Techexplained, Apr 17, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Darren Draper summarizes a response from David Wiley to a recent post of mine in which I argue (or complain) that "MOOCs were not designed to serve the missions of the elite colleges and universities. They were designed to undermine them, and make those missions obsolete." As one of the people who actually developed MOOCs, I figured I was in a good position to say why they were designed, but apparently not. Anyhow, Wiley insightfully pierces the motivation behind the xMOOCs: "The current mania around MOOCs has nothing to do with strategic neutralization of a potential threat to higher education’s business model and everything to do with needing to be in the New York Times." As IO comment on Draper's piece, "there's plenty of precedent for these institutions jumping out in front of an existing trend and then taking credit for it in the media." But ultimately, I would argue, this self-serving behaviour serves to fend off competition to the privileged position these institutions enjoy.

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