“High [student] failure rates and dropouts are features, not bugs,” 

by reestheskin on 05/09/2015

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The MOOC revolution that wasn’t. Useful brief summary of MOOCs — cMOOCs, then the Ivy league (and New York Times) by Audrey Watters. I still think the story isn’t over, and remain puzzled by the absence of discussion about the fact that the OU really did so much of this so long ago. I forget the origin of the aphorism, but remember: ‘The two most potent educational forces of the 20th century were Penguin books, and the Open University’. I can still remember buying Penguin science books in my early teens; and staring at the TV on a Sunday morning, watching all these strange looking people, who didn’t look like my parents: they were called academics, and the dress sense was not what I was used to. And, in turn, my kids think I look a bit like them: strange.

But, I still think the whole movement is positive. We are going to use online more, and few areas of human endeavour don’t benefit from scrutiny and challenge. I think we can improve teaching, and improve it at scale and reduce the cost. I am however puzzled about those in the business of MOOCs. If the article is correct in arguing that more and more the future for some MOOCs is in business and technical education — the pivot, so to speak— do the founders really want to be in this space?