MOOCs and mLearning – Opinion Piece…

There are three questions to address this week as the semester comes to a close:

  1. What do you think the future of MOOCs is?
  2. What about mobile learning?
  3. Are these things you feel are going to be beneficial or will there be a backlash?

Massive Open Online Courses received significant press and hype which has benefitted online education in general, they have made educational opportunities available to students who would otherwise not have access.  By offering online courses without fee or registration (open) this has allowed faculty to “look” at how others create and facilitate online courses.  And, for researchers is has allowed us to try new tools and pedagogical approaches with students who weren’t pay for a degree.

MOOCs have not educated the world for free or disrupted traditional education as promised or predicted.  Most schools do not have a strategic plan in place that includes MOOCs due to the lack of a sustainable business model to universities at a critical point where they need to come up with new forms of revenue.  Most of the MOOC providers have been selective in the faculty and institutions they allow to create content for distribution on their platform.

mLearning or Mobile Learning is replacing paper books with digital texts and has become a first thought in course and program design not an afterthought.  As online education continues to expand into regions of the world without “hard lines” that only have cellular connections to the internet it is a critical consideration in order to connect with students.

mLearning affords us the opportunity to exploit technology that exists within the phone that can be used for learning (camera, accelerometer, gps, sensors…).  It will also allow us to explore mobile games for learning and new developments like augmented reality.

The final question was will MOOCs and Mobile learning be beneficial or will there be a backlash.

I’m still formulating my opinion on these.  Look for more input from me on this thought in the near future.


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