Plugged in but not switched on


Photographer: FourNinety Copyright (C) The Open University

For a report on how ‘massive open online courses’ provided by Coursera, edX and Udacity appear to be ‘another tectonic shift in the evolution of higher education and HE internationalisation’, see a report from the Observatory on borderless higher education.

The OU’s eLearning Community newsletter recently noted the interest in massive open online courses (MOOCs) and also noted that it appears to have come as a surprise to ‘Wired Campus’ that many MOOC students form groups to study and socialize. MOOCs are free of charge, designed for large numbers of people to take them at once, encourage peer-to-peer learning, and award certificates rather than academic course credit. The experience of the OU is that knowledge is not a thing to be acquired but an activity. It has long recognised that it is valuable to support self-help groups, online forums and the like. It appears that others are now finding this out for themselves and that in order to understand how best to proceed they could do worse than to look to the history of the OU.

Leave a Reply