Does Higher Education need mass courses like Coursera? #oped12

Ik ben echt zeer verrast over deze vreugde en het enthousiasme over massa cursussen. Een professor maakt een cursus en de enige verandering is dat de professor niet 200 studenten toespreekt, maar een groter publiek.
Deze professor zou televisie kunnen gebruiken om zijn gesprekken de wereld in te sturen.
Dit is Middeleeuws, niet 21e eeuws met gebruik maken van Internet en media.

I really am very surprised with this joy and enthusiasm about mass courses. A professor makes a course and the only change is that the professor is not talking to 200 students but to a bigger audience. This professor could use Television to send his talks to the world.
This is Middle Ages, not 21th century internet based study.

Is de cursus op maat gemaakt?
Is de cursus aangepast aan de behoeften van de individuele student?
Maakt de cursus gebruik van alle mogelijkheden van internet en computeres en andere media?
Is er samenwerking tussen de studenten?
Doet de cursus een beroep op de zelfwerkzaamheid van de studenten?

Is the course tailor made​​?
Is the course adapted to the needs of the individual student?
Does the course use the full potential of the Internet and computeres and other media?
Is there cooperation between the students?
Does the course appeal to active learning?


5 thoughts on “Does Higher Education need mass courses like Coursera? #oped12

  1. Jaap,

    Good points. Here is my take on MOOC developments in response to your questions.

    Does HE need MOOCs?
    Without question, we need ways of educating 100s of millions of learners who are capable of Higher Education but do not have the access either geographically or financially to traditional institutions. MOOCs could be one way of doing so cost-effectively. Are there other ways?
    So, yes we need them.

    Is the course tailor made​​?
    NO, like traditional university courses the MOOC is not tailor made for the specific learner — no course is – some courses allow for individualization at various extents, BUT, YES it is tailor made for mastering the specific subject matter.

    Is the course adapted to the needs of the individual student?
    NO, no course can do this. That would be up to the student, who can pick and choose and adapt the course material to his/her needs.

    Does the course use the full potential of the Internet and computers and other media?
    NO, this would be an impossible task for any course. Some use more of the potential than others. And, less is quite often preferable to “more”.

    Is there cooperation between the students?
    YES, the evidence shows that many MOOC learners form study groups for online discussions/mentorship and even face2face when they live in the same city.

    Does the course appeal to active learning?
    YES, what you do is up to you in the MOOC. If you are not active then you won’t learn.

    All the best

  2. My interest right now is in the learning potential existing in the world that need not be wrapped in a “class.” Instead of confining learning to a specific contextualized moment and place I think we need to respect and recognize continuous learning as a human activity that can happen anywhere. Fields of study can be as diverse as people’s imaginations will allow. The notion of “course” is fine for directed learning and too narrow for discovery learning.

  3. Hi Scott, ik zie meer in maatwerk dan in massaproductie voor onderwijs. Ik denk dat er meer manieren zijn om een vak te leren, en dat geen enkele manier geschikt is voor alle studenten.
    Hi Scott, I prefer personalized above mass education. I think there are more ways to learn a trade, and that no single way is appropriate for all students.

    Hi Rory, thanks voor your comment. we could distinguish two different classes of mass courses. The MOOC as organized by Siemens and Downes and Cornier and the Mass courses from the big universities. The difference is in predictability of results.
    Hoi Rory, dank je voor je reactie. We kunnen twee verschillende soorten van de massa cursussen onderscheiden. De MOOC zoals georganiseerd door Siemens en Downes en Cornier en de Massive cursussen georganiseerd door de grote universiteiten. Het verschil zit in de voorspelbaarheid van de resultaten.

  4. This is why I suppose Massive Courses are not the best way to learn and teach.

    But on the internet I get “taught” every day by people who freely offer opinions, advice and experiences of their own. They don’t have me as their “student”, and they don’t have the responsibility of “assessing” my learning, but I learn from them at my own pace as time permits and as my interest deepens.
    Found on

    This is a blog that expresses my thoughts about the other pedagogy of MOOC’s. The role of the teacher and of the student are changing The difference is the testing goal-oriented structure of mass courses. MOOC is network process and mass course is a linear structure.

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