MOOCs

Most of the recent anti-MOOC commentary by the cleverati sounds more like sour grapes to me. One bogus argument is that courses achieve a low completion rate. 10% of several thousand is doing OK by anybody’s book.

Here are some comments from Tucker Balch who’s actually taught a MOOC:

The cost for a MOOC is zero. All a student need do is provide an email address, and click a button labeled “sign me up.”

Failing a course at a university is costly in many ways for a student. Besides the time and funds lost, there’s the cost of that “F” on the transcript. There are no such costs associated with MOOCs.

But MOOC completion rates aren’t really low in the context of Internet engagement. A click through rate of 5% for a google ad is considered a strong success. Convincing 5% to engage intellectually for 8 weeks is, I think, a big deal.

A refreshing change to the the tiresome armchair punditry of those who typically haven’t taken a MOOC or taught one. It reminds me of the brouhaha in the 1980s when the UK Musician’s Union tried to limit the use of Samplers because they feared that “real” musicians would be done out of a job. That’s the real issue here isn’t it? The bogus edutech cleverati weren’t consulted, MOOCs have been launched without their (unwanted) say-so, and they’re basically out of a job.

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