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  1. Julián Ramírez
    December 16, 2012 - 7:20 pm

    MOOC or not MOOC is not important, how valuable are the networks that form and the subsequent scenarios as learning communities or practice

  2. kailey ane
    December 17, 2012 - 9:05 am

    poderia ser traduzido???

  3. Muvaffak GOZAYDIN
    December 17, 2012 - 2:15 pm

    Dear Tony
    Excellent article as always .
    I am very glad that you see a future at MOOC . I call it only NEW ONLINE = NOL

    I see future only in EDX Non profit by most elite univerwsities of the world .

    Why :
    1.- Their courses are the same as oncampus courses, that means when edx provides degrees they will provide the same education to online students as well . That means MITx degree = MIT Degree . Sure employers will make the distinction about 2 . But that is not too much . USA needs HE for 18-22 years olds to get a degree and job .

    2.- EDX will attract enough students in the world to make cost nill, therefore EDX will charge also a small fee.

    3.- MIT is capable of creating authentication of the students software and automatic grading software . Both are developing in many places . MIT can do the best .

    4.- EDX is expanding its size accepting less competitive ( I do not want to say that , but not everybody can go to MIT and Harvard, therefore EDX need some less competitive schools too . ) schools such as University of Texas, Wellesley, Georgetown .

    5.- Brand name is important for employers , therefore edx will win . ( Tony does not believe that elite universities can also have good teachers )

    6.- My model, suggested 10 years ago , that is now 2U model. 10 schools got together to share their online courses and degree programs .
    So I suggest edx schools should share online courses among themselves and should start awarding degrees . A student registered at one school can get courses from any edx school but eventually he gets his degree from the registered school . This way edx can start awarding degrees within 3 years .

    Thanks billion Tony :
    Please help NEW ONLINE Initiative started by edx .

    Sorry to say that Coursera will be a fad . They do not offer real university courses . They do not select good school to join them . People complain the quality of the courses . Still no business model to finance .
    They emphisize the MASSIVENESS , but there is nothing massive . DUKE has 2.5 % finish rate . They could keep their name with only elite schools . Most elite school will leave soon .

  4. [...] Bates has written a nice post on MOOC and I would like to respond [...]

  5. Sui Fai John Mak
    December 17, 2012 - 6:18 pm

    Thanks Tony for this excellent and insightful post.
    Here is my response: My summary post on #MOOC 2012 for sharing and comments.

  6. Muvaffak GOZAYDIN
    December 18, 2012 - 7:49 am

    I suggest everybody should click to Sui ‘ s links . They are wonderful info .

  7. Muvaffak GOZAYDIN
    December 18, 2012 - 8:21 am

    Stephen Downes reminded me something about old online for 15 years.

    2.- 1,300 schools provide online courses and degrees too , at $ 1,500 per course or more
    3.- For profits made a huge money on it, more than $ 1 billion by one school in one year
    4.- LOANS got to $ 1 trillion yes trillion
    5.- Quality is discussable, but mainly not good .
    6.- Therefore elite schools did not come to close to online business.

    7.- In 2001 MIT has started investigation by opencourseware project .
    8.- MIT has reached to 100,000,000 students and teachers globally
    9.- MIT realised that they should go to ONLINE since ONLINE IS FOR MILLIONS .
    And MIT can attract and reach to millions . Then cost is nill .
    10.- Therefore they declared first online course in December 2011 before any MOOCs are around .
    EDX is not a MOOC . They are unique .
    11.- They do not want to disrupt the existing system, therefore they go very carefully and strategicly
    12.- Eventually they will provide degrees too
    13.- Harvard is smart . Harvard has seen online with MIT platform is perfect they joined the club.
    14.- MIT is very selective to choose new partners . So they choice Berkeley.
    15.- They needed some less competitive schools too, therefore Uni of TEXAS and Wellesley and Georgetown joined too .
    16.- Now I propose an edx degree . Students can get online courses from edx schools with the help of an advisor , when he completes 40 courses he gets an EDX Degree. That is very valuable degree .
    17. Fees for courses will be $ 10-50 per course. Then a degree will cost 40 x 50 = $ 2,000 for a BA .
    Beautiful . In 2020 I expect 100,000 degrees will be awarded and in 2025 1,000,000 degrees
    18. Tony says edx has many defects in instructional design etc. So I wish Tony helps edx in those areas .
    It is his obligation to the society. It is a social responsibility on his part . Tony has 15 years of online experience .
    I cross my finger for the progress of edx .

    • Tony Bates
      December 18, 2012 - 11:27 am

      Thanks, Muvaffak – your comments are always welcome.

      Just one point of clarification: MIT certainly does not need me to improve its edX courses. They have the resources, and there are plenty of people around Boston who can provide the instructional design help needed. I suspect (although I don’t know) that edX is already doing this.
      The key point here is that teaching is not just about technology; it’s about learning, and online instruction needs to take account of what we already know works (and doesn’t work) with regard to online learning.
      If edX is using teams of subject matter experts, educational designers, and IT specialists, then they will prevail. If not, like many other ivy league initiatives in online learning before them, they will fail, due to their own hubris.
      I do hope for the sake of learners everywhere that edX does succeed.

  8. [...] Bates’ Online Learning in 2012: A Retrospective is worth the time it takes for a thorough read. But when I was done reading I kept coming back to a [...]

  9. [...] “- they appear to be free … – it’s also a numbers game … – technology triumphs over teaching … – it’s all about the elite institutions … – don’t forget the politics  …” Tony Bates, e-learning and distant education resources, 16. Dezember 2012 [...]

  10. Cable Green
    December 19, 2012 - 2:30 pm

    Thanks Tony.

    (1) Re: the definition of OER. I recommend Hewlett’s OER definition:

    “OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.”

    That is, for an educational resource to be “open” it must be both gratis (available at no-cost) and libre (everyone has the legal rights to re-purpose the resource). An OER cannot be freely available *or* openly licensed – it must be both freely available *and* openly licensed (or in the public domain) to be an OER.

    (2) MOOCs may be open admissions and “free”… but they have not yet become OER – see definition above. For a MOOC course to be “open content” or OER – it must have an open licnese that legally empowers everyone to: reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the MOOC course. That said, Creative Commons is working with / talking to all of the major MOOCs to help them enable CC licensing on their platforms. With a simple pull down menu, MOOC platforms could make it simple for contributing Universities / Colleges / faculty to add a CC license to their course.

    See CC’s post on this: Keeping MOOCs Open:

    Happy Holidays!

    Cable Green
    Director of Global Learning
    Creative Commons

    • Tony Bates
      December 19, 2012 - 3:42 pm

      Many thanks for this, Cable.

      This is really important because MOOCs could go either way: a free and open resource, or a ‘free’ resource that is licensed to a private company that can restrict the contexts in which the materials are used.

  11. [...] 1) The xMOOC movement caused a level of mania, hysteria and irrational decision-making by numerous educators in 2012.  It also sparked controversy, discussion, change—just what is needed to address the challenges facing education. Audrey Watters of Hack Education wrote a stellar summary, the Year of the MOOC, chronicling developments over the entire year. From another perspective, Tony Bates wrote a thoughtful piece, ‘Why MOOCs?’ in his year-end post Online learning in 2012: a retrospective.  [...]

  12. Rory McGreal
    December 23, 2012 - 8:40 am

    Thanks Tony for another provocative article.
    You claim that “lower cost” fits into the business agenda to undermine public education. Isn’t it sad that lower cost not only
    does not fit into the public education educators’ agenda, but seems to be anathema to it. If this attitude continues to prevail among public educators then the business agenda will surely win. AND they deserve to win. Why do all too many of us in the public sector believe that lowering costs is somehow “evil”.

    The task, I believe, for educators of the 21st century is to find many ways of educating many more millions and billions of students. How can we do this if we don’t consider how to reduce per student costs? You can look at the reality from one angle or you can look at it from another angle or from many angles, but the bottom line is that the present system, even present hybrid systems are not capable of providing learning opportunities to those that need it. Cost effectiveness is crucial. We need to find the means to deliver quality education to masses of learners. MOOCs point to one (or several) way of doing this. OERu points to another.
    Happy Xmas to all
    All the best in the New Year.

    • Tony Bates
      December 23, 2012 - 10:17 am

      Thanks, Rory.

      You are absolutely right: we do need to find ways to reduce the costs of higher education so that it is more accessible, and more productive.

      The challenge is doing so while maintaining quality, in terms of the kinds of students it helps develop. This will vary from country to country, but in economically advanced (but perhaps economically declining) Western countries, that means producing high quality independent learners with a range of skills that include critical thinking, originality, and good communications skills. We also need highly skilled tradespeople, also with the higher order learning skills. And we need lots of people with these skills, not just a small elite.

      However, too often, low-cost’ solutions aim at the lowest common denominator in learning: memorization and reproduction. To get the higher order learning skills, you need some kind of transactional process that involves often an expert or skilled facilitator, and that costs money. Just providing content for free doesn’t cut it, although it can help reduce costs.

      I think there are possibilities to reduce costs, but mainly through organizing resources differently, through open educational resources, through better management, and probably a sharper distinction between different institutions, in terms of their goals and learning outputs (i.e. teaching vs research). But the transactional nature of learning is a tough one in terms of cost reduction.

      I do feel that there is a growing acceptance even in academia that costs are too high and need to be controlled. The fear though is loss of ‘quality’, however that is defined. My main point is that it isn’t going to be as easy to reduce costs without losing quality as some like to suggest, but it is possible. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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  14. […] Bates, T. (December 16, 2012). Online learning in 2012: a retrospective. […]

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