Why MOOCs are only part of the answer for higher education

Tony Bates, Online learning and distance education resources, Nov 30, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

For the record, I have never thought of Tony Bates as a critic of MOOCs, particularly, though he has certainly weighed in with his opinions on how they could be improved (which is what we would hope for and expect). here is a case in point. He writes, "cMOOCs have the most potential, because lifelong learning will become increasingly important, and the power of bringing a mix of already well educated and knowledgeable people from around the world to work with other committed and enthusiastic learners on common problems or areas of interest could truly revolutionise not just education, but the world in general. However, cMOOCs at present are unable to do this, because they lack organisation and do not apply what is already known about how online groups work best." Of course, I regard these criticisms of MOOCs as features of MOOCs, and not flaws. I respect the research, but I believe it was conducted with an incomplete understanding of internet technologies and learning models based in personal development rather than content acquisition.

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