Disrupting and democratising higher education provision or entrenching academic elitism: towards a model of MOOCs adoption at African universities

Patient Rambe, Mamello Moeti, Educational Technology Research and Development, Jan 13, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

MOOCs have the potential to support education in Africa. "The disruptive potential of MOOCs lies in their capacity to overcome the social exclusion of vulnerable groups based on gender, age, socio-economic status and ethnic origin." But the MOOC movement is not necessarily benign. "Behind the MOOC rhetoric of disrupting and democratizing higher education lies the projection of top academic brands on the marketing pedestal, financial piggybacking on the hype and politics of academic exclusion." In particular, "The core-to-periphery guise of the current MOOC system is unacceptable. It manifests in the design of most MOOC platforms and courses (with some exceptions) for consumption rather than adaptation." Well stated, and well (and extensively) argued.

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