OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
Aug 25, 2015

Open education the sustainable way in the knowledge age
Karen MacGregor, University World News, 2015/08/25


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.'"

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6 concerns students have about MOOCs
Meris Stansbury, eCampus News, 2015/08/25


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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Why millennials are ditching university, and what it means for the workplace
Mandy Gilbert, Financial Post, 2015/08/25


OK, this is an opinion piece in the Financial Post, which is not exactly noted for well-researched opinion pieces. But the summary in Academica captures not just the article but the trend itself really well: "Many employers are finding that the CVs of millennials are beginning to lack traditional university and college credentials with increasing frequency, writes a Financial Post contributor. For this reason, the contributor adds that employers should be 'open-minded when [they] review millennial resumés.'"

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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