What’s Wrong with MOOCs: One-Size-Fits-All Syndrome

Jim Shimabukuro, educational technology & change, Oct 03, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Jim Shimabukuro disc usses a recent initiative by the Malaysian government to implement MOOCs in that country. "The Malaysian government is taking steps to “make 30 per cent of higher education courses available as massive open online courses (or MOOCs) by 2020” (Financial Review, 2 Oct. 2016)." His concern is that the initiatiuve is relying on a single MOOC platform - OpenLearn, based in Australia - to offer the materials. This is too narrow, he says. "The bottom line is that a MOOC, any MOOC, isn’t a place. Instead, it’s a manifestation of a pedagogy that’s continually reconstructed by the individual participants, teacher and students. It exists not in the world out there but within each participant’s mind. As such, its shape and form are limited only by the individual’s imagination. Thus, to artificially and arbitrarily confine its form is counterintuitive." That was how we developed MOOCs originally, and where they should return again in the long term.

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