MOOCs are maturing

MOOCs are the adolescents of higher education, Ray Schroeder writes for WCET Learn. Actually, they have been around for less than a decade through which they have undergone an evolution that is marked by the growth spurts and changes in priorities that many of us have noted in the maturing of our own children, nieces, and nephews.  As adolescents, it is not yet fully clear where MOOCs will go when they mature. MOOCs date back half a dozen years with early experiments in teaching larger online classes in the U.S. and Australasia.  The OERu Foundation documents some of the early efforts. These early MOOCs were different in several respects.  “Massive” was defined in hundreds rather than hundreds of thousands of students.  Early MOOCs were truly open educational resources.  The materials of the classes were freely available even after the class was completed.  And, the early MOOCs were associated with non-profit universities, they were not associated with entities seeking a revenue stream to sustain themselves, such as Coursera and Udacity.

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