MOOCs and how to survive them

MOOCs And How To Survive Them
Peter Legrove is in the process of writing a new book. One of his other books in education is about teaching your children to read using phonics and Montessori sandpaper letters. This book is about MOOCs, what they are, how to do them, and the effect they might have on the future of education as we know it.
MOOCs are just something that hit the free scene on the internet last year and have somehow taken on a mind of their own. Well it seems that way from a MOOCers point of view. Whether they are as popular as they were is hard to determine. Because each MOOC is different you cannot compare across MOOCs. Whereas one MOOC might have an active forum, others do not. And it depends on the students.

One thing I have noticed is the quality of students has increased dramatically over the past few MOOCs. I do not know if that is over most MOOCs or just the ones I’ve had a go at. I would like to see some completion figures from the MOOCs I take like, How many students get a certificate? How many get the free certificate and how many get a paid certificate. Just a few stats to see what I was up against. In my humble opinion I would say MOOCs have gone from a novelty to something serious. There are some serious students doing the peer assessments and the quality is amazing.
But MOOCs haven’t done what I thought they were going to do, when they first came out. And that was an advertisement for the university and the lecturer who wrote a book. I have only received one advertisement for a paying course from a university, and it wasn’t even the university that had the MOOC. Maybe the universities should take a MOOC about how to use MOOCs to get paying students. As has been said before, academics don’t always follow their own advice. They must have one hell of a mailing list and they are just not using it. I thought I would be bombarded with emails for courses and books the lecturer had written. But not so.

So I don’t really know where they are heading. Unless this is the future of higher education and is a prelude to lifelong learning. A very few popular internet people – I couldn’t call them gurus – who live in the NOW, like James Altucher, are against sending young adults to university. Mainly because the middle class is dead and universities prepare students for the middle class. Also because life experience is possible more important going forward. And why start your working life deep in debt.

Since the financial crisis of 2007, high paying jobs of the middle class are few and far between. That could be the future. So start your lifelong learning with a MOOC or two and build up your resume or CV, while you are working making money. And not piling on debt while at university. Another thing about the future is “The top ten in demand jobs advertised in 2013 did not exist 2006” so why spend four years at university when, some say, half of what you learn will be obsolete before you graduate. If lifelong learning is the future then MOOCs are definitely changing the future. When employees accept MOOCs on a resume or CV, then they will be a force to be competing with.
Now what are MOOCs are why have they suddenly popped up on the internet. Well a MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Could be an extension of the MOG. Which have been around for a while and have dominated the internet since it’s inception nearly. And I would say have been and still are, a driving force on how the internet will head into the future. A MOG is a Massive Online Game, and even people who are not gamers have seen the impact of MOGs on their kids.

Most MOOCs are real time courses, that have strict time limits, and you have to complete parts of the course before the deadline. And before moving on to the next part of the course. Each course has different criteria for completion, but most have peer reviewed assessments, and you have to do so many forum entries. These usually are questions posted as well as answering other posts.

And the forums can make or break a course. In some courses there is a lot of interaction on the forums, while others the threads just don’t seem to hang together. It all depends on the students, and I think how many are aiming for a Certification of Completion with Distinction. Or if you get students really interested in the topic then forums are a ton of fun. And you can sometimes get excellent links to other related stuff on the internet. I’ve been introduced to some amazing stuff on the forums. Stuff I’d never have found otherwise.

Also, since the MOOCs are the latest, they are very up-to-date. And you are introduced to the latest in research and where it is heading in the future. One thing I do like about MOOCs is they show you available free software and other interesting things available on the internet. They have helped me to upgrade my internet experience to new tech. I’ve been on the internet for years now, and I am stuck using old tech, because I am comfortable with it and I have had no reason to upgrade. Now I’ve been shown the latest and I’m impressed with it, so I’ve changed. That is what MOOCs have done to me. I’m sad to say I haven’t made any friends that have lasted longer than the MOOC, but I have enjoyed them all.
Now, are MOOCs the next best thing or just a passing phase. Are they a disruptive technology or the future of education. We shall see. Are universities and institutes of learning worried about MOOCs and how they have changed education so far. Or is it, education hasn’t changed for the past 150 years. Don’t you think it is about time it changed.

 

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