Are MOOCs Just Moneymaking Scams? Providers Challenged To Substantiate Grandiose Claims

Keith Button, May 15, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

So the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education has launched a video and campaign against MOOCs, depicting MOOCs as schemes designed to make money. This follows the release of three working papers  last year "questioning the basic positive assumptions about online education." I will admit, Coursera, Udacity and EdX make good targets. But it doesn't make sense to tar all MOOCs (and all online learning) with the same brush. More on this item at Inside Higher Ed, Huffington Post, L.A. Times.

If the people at CFHE really want to debate the people behind MOOCs, they should debate George Siemens, Dave Cormier and myself. I for one would stand up and be counted. If they want a real debate, they should give us a call. We're not over-hyped VC-backed straw men you can knock down by citing some overblown rhetoric and fancy videos. We have a couple of decades of smart and steady advances behind us. And we have, I think, a pretty good sense of where we're going in the future, and yes, how the work we're doing with MOOCs and related technology will help provide access to learning for everyone.

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