4 Lessons We Can Learn from the "Failure" of MOOCs

Andrew Miller, Edutopia, Jan 31, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

"Let's be clear," writes Andrew Miller, "that MOOCs are just one part of the so-called online learning revolution." But even the so-called failure of MOOCs can teach us some lessons, he says. Like what? Retain the human element, foster collaboration, and provide ongoing feedback, for starters. Finally, he argues, "blended is best." This all sounds reasonable - but wait. Aren't all of these just things MOOCs aren't? Has he actually tracked the failure of MOOCs to these causes? No - it's more like he's saying "well the new way didn't work, so that shows we need to go back to the old way." But, first, it's not clear that MOOCs have failed, and second, it's not at all clear that personal hand-holding and the traditional classroom will rescue them. Sometimes jumping out of the fire lands you right back into the frying pan.

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