Moocs the solution?

Higher education has to solve three main problems:
The world is in need for more higher education.
We need to improve universities around the world.
We need creative educated people to solve new problems.
Three questions higher education has to solve. Quantity, quality and creativity.
And is xMOOC the answer?
Some expect xMOOCs to be able to solve the quantity question, xMOOCs could educate the big masses of new students. Some questions have to be solved here. How do students learn to master skills in a xMOOC? Could we train medical staff by use of some medical MOOCs? Do students need practical experience, internship, training in a lab? Could a mass-university serve hundreds of thousands of students with internships, labs, training?
Some think education will grow better when the best xMOOC-courses survive and are used by all universities. We have to define quality of education. Most students would agree that video-colleges are not the most sophisticated way of learning.
xMOOCs do not solve the need for more creative people. xMOOCs are not equiped to enhance creativity.

Het hoger onderwijs moet drie belangrijke problemen oplossen:
Er is behoefte aan meer hoger onderwijs.
Universiteiten over de hele wereld moeten beter worden.
We hebben veel creatieve mensen nodig om nieuwe problemen op te lossen.
Drie vragen die het hoger onderwijs moet oplossen. Kwantiteit, kwaliteit en creativiteit.
En is de xMOOC het antwoord?
Sommigen verwachten dat xMOOCs het probleem van de kwantiteit kunnen helpen oplossen. Kunnen xMOOCs grote massa’s nieuwe studenten opleiden? Er zijn nog wat probleempjes wat dit betreft. Hoe leren studenten praktische vaardigheden in de xMOOC? Kunnen we medisch personeel opleiden door gebruik te maken van een aantal medische MOOCs? Hoe krijgen studenten praktijkervaring, stage, opleiding in het lab? Kan de massa-universiteit honderdduizenden studenten stages, laboratoria, en vaardigheidstraing geven?
Sommigen denken dat het onderwijs zal verbeteren als de best xMOOC cursussen overleven en worden gebruikt door alle universiteiten. We moeten eerst bepalen wat kwaliteit van het onderwijs is. De meeste studenten zijn het erover eens dat video-colleges niet de meest verfijnde manier van leren.
xMOOCs zijn niet goed in staat de behoefte aan meer creatieve mensen bevredigen. xMOOCs zijn niet uitgerust om de creativiteit te verbeteren.

photo: wikipedia University of Gujrat in Gujrat, Pakistan.


2 thoughts on “Moocs the solution?

  1. Interesting questions Jaap! xMOOCs may be the ‘quantity’ answer to familiarising the world with the concept of networked learning – could ‘snowball’ as the technology improves and with it, ease of access etc. I hope that at least xMOOCs will survive in the sense that their records aggregate for purposes of research and further re-mixes. All this should help to lower costs. MOOCs are still not well understood and different hybrid versions that blur the cMOOC / xMOOC distinction seem to be emerging. I can’t see any really fundamental reason why training for medical staff could not be covered in some sort of hybrid MOOC incorporating the necessary personal supervision along with sophisticated simulation facilities.

  2. Hi Jaap, very interesting and insightful post. I agreed that xMOOCs could educate the masses, though we need to ensure that such model is sustainable, especially, for the prestigious institutions, and the continuing support from professors and learners across institutions. As you said, xMOOCs do not solve the need for more creative people. They are still based on the transmission of knowledge from the super-professors and authorities. Only those knowledge (as shown in the videos, or displayed in the artifacts) would be assessed and tested.

    As Gordon mentioned, MOOCs are still not well understood and different hybrid versions that blur the cMOOC / xMOOC distinction seem to be emerging.

    Could training for medical staff be covered in some sort of hybrid of MOOCs? Yes, sure. Here I have posted I think we are still touching the tips of the iceberg, or the surface of the minefield, in this MOOC arena.

    Thanks again Jaap.

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