Keeping MOOCs open—platforms vs. protocols

Dave Weinberger, Joho the Blog, Jun 13, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It appears to be a fuss about nothing - or maybe it was a trial balloon - but though there are reports that Coursera is clamping down on free access to courses, there's no real evidence to back that up. Nonetheless, Dave Weinberger is sounding a caution. "MOOCs are here to stay," he writes, "But we once again need to learn the danger of centralized platforms. Protocols are safer — more generative, more resistant to capture — than platforms. Distributed archives are safer than centralized archives." But of course the platform created at Stanford and catering to exclusive universities was always going to be centralized. The question is why we pay so much attention to Coursera than to the dozens of other MOOC platforms.

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