MOOCs more disruptive than open access, report says

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) will be more disruptive to education than open access scholarship, a new report predicted.

MOOCs have mass market appeal that journal do not.

The two popular developments in the open education movement were pitted against each other in a recent study published in SAGE Open and written by York University professor Richard Wellen.

While both methods share the same seemingly altruistic goal, they are going about accomplishing that goal in very different ways.

Open access publishing aims to spread ideas and knowledge through providing research for free, unrestricted by paywalls and subscription prices. While this is an idea valued by many in academia, those who are most interested in freely reading this content already can do so on campuses and in research libraries.

Scholarly publishing’s existing business model is built on small audiences, and it has “evolved over many decades in response to the idiosyncratic nature of the academic publishing market,” the report stated.

“In effect, the end user (the academic researcher) is relatively insulated from the market,” Wellen wrote. “In addition, the value of scholarly journals is hard to observe except by small groups of experts working within narrow specialties. For all these reasons, market forces arguably cannot exert a very strong downward pressure on prices.”

Educators can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #eCNMOOCs.

See page 2 for how MOOCs are part of the “unbundling process”…

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