Why America’s MOOC pioneers have abandoned ship

Jonathan Rees, More or Less Bunk, Aug 28, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Jonathan Rees citing Alex Usher is a bit like Bernie Sanders citing Ronald Reagan. There's an incongruity there. Usher's point is that MOOCs never made money. I don't think Rees lost any sleep over that (quite the contrary; I think he would have been worried were MOOCs hauling in the cash). Rees defends the traditional approach. "Traditional education with its inefficiency derived from the close proximity between professors and their students has proved more resilient than its wannabe disruptors ever imagined." Why? "Online courses without a live crew manning them can be very lonely experiences." But the Silicon Valley MOOCs were always an outlier, despite the hype they got from the Silicon Valley press. Conviviality and sociability have been the hallmarks of online learning since the beginning, and Silicon Valley ignored that history at its own expense.

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