Bornstein, D. (2012) Open education for a global economy New York Times, July 11
I can’t help compare this free service in online vocational training that has been going on quietly and unobtrusively for several years with all the hoopla around the Stanford and MIT MOOCs.
ALISON has developed a sustainable business model that allows it to provide free, high quality, well-designed courses with high rates of completion leading to recognized qualifications in areas where there is a shortage of qualified, skilled labour. It has over a million students all round the world, including in some of the poorest countries (there are currently 200 million unemployed people globally). This is really what open educational resources should be about.
However, it’s not an elite American institution, and lacks the hubris of claiming to disrupt the existing educational systems around the world, while meeting a clearly identified need. Good for ALISON.