Some thoughts about MOOCs

MOOCS (Massively Online Open Courses) are still in the news and still being promoted as the solution to the increasing cost of Higher Education at a time of increasing demand. I am currently developing an Online MPhil/PhD that we hope to launch here at the Institute of Education in October 2014 and it’s interesting that MOOCs have little relevance! The core of the doctoral experience is the relationship with supervisor(s), other students and the institution as a whole (e.g. Departmental seminars, library). MOOCs cannot handle the “one to a few” relationship that is supervision – and effective tutoring – and that need for access to an expert is one of the reasons for the relatively high cost of doctoral study. One of my colleagues, Professor Diana Laurillard, has recently highlighted “Five myths about Moocs” and it is also interesting to read this blogpost Let them eat MOOCS to see how MOOCs are being perceived by at least some of those who are planning to get rich selling them!

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