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  1. Victor \laurin
    February 6, 2013 - 10:34 am

    I am 64 this year. I have not taken a university course since being an MBA candidate in 1978. I never finished that degree because I purchased a small company. I had only two credits to complete with much of the work done. I am still self employed. Regardless, I am taking a course in history now for the enjoyment of learning. I took very few courses at university here in Canada that did not contribute to my business education. Now I am. It is a wonderful alternative to reading history books, watching documentaries on the television or even reading a novel. Based on the news articles I have read, I am not your target group but I have found it very beneficial to my well being. I hope this option remains available to me in the future.

    • Tony Bates
      February 6, 2013 - 3:39 pm

      Hi, Victor
      Great to hear from you. I’m really pleased you have found an appropriate MOOC for your needs. This is great.
      I agree, I think MOOCs really fill the kind of need and purpose you have for learning. For me, they are most successful as a modern form of educational broadcasting, with the chance for interaction with other similarly directed learners that is not so easily handled by broadcast television. I think MOOCs are also useful in technical areas for already well qualified people who just need to keep informed of latest developments in their field. So there are clear niches for MOOCs.
      My concern is that they are being unduly overhyped and seen as an alternative to other forms of education. We need to learn both their strengths and their weaknesses, and particularly where they can be of most value.
      I much appreciate your comment

  2. Lisa M Lane
    February 6, 2013 - 7:19 pm

    I have been similarly frustrated by the focus on MOOCs, which is preventing any cogent discussion of online teaching and learning. The are not only a side show, but a sidetrack.

    • Tony Bates
      February 6, 2013 - 9:36 pm

      Thanks so much, Lisa – I really hear you! You did a great blog on this.

  3. Robert Schuwer
    February 6, 2013 - 10:58 pm

    For me, the real message is at the end of this post: “It seems any new development in online learning has to be called a MOOC to get any recognition (even if it is neither massive nor open).”. I couldn’t agree more. I wrote a blogpost about this lastw eek (in Dutch): http://blog.opener.ou.nl/?p=468. It’s about that with all the attention on MOOC’s it seems other big challenges around OER and open education are solved already (like quality issues of OER, sustainability and human factors preventing an uptake of OER). Still, we should not underestimate the change agent role of MOOC’s, but we should be aware to keep having OER in broader sense on the agenda.

    • Tony Bates
      February 7, 2013 - 11:16 am

      Thanks for your comment, Robert.
      Yes, there are many different ways to open up education (and not just through OERs or MOOCs), and there needs to be more focus on these alternatives, (such as a well-funded public education system, more flexibility in university admission requirements, and flexible access for students through ‘conventional’ online learning). Although MOOCs fit well in a particular niche, they are drowning out all other discussions around open access in the popular media.

  4. [...] How are you keeping up with MOOC developments? If you are like me, you are probably feeling swamped and not a little overwhelmed by all the coverage and news about MOOCs. Here’s what I’ve come across over the last couple of weeks. (February 5, 2013  By Tony Bates 6 Comments) [...]

  5. Muvaffak GOZAYDIN
    February 12, 2013 - 1:18 pm

    Tony
    I had great hopes from MOOCs, rather only from edx Harvard MIT.

    But now everything is being called MOOC. Moocs became a mess .

    Outside of MIT and Harvard everything became a mess . Just sad .

    Experience talks .

  6. [...] (via een scoop-it). Steven haalde Peter Sloep aan die refereerde naar een artikel van Tony Bates: Keep up with MOOC development. De tweede kwam ik tegen in de MOOC die ik nu volg: E-Learning en Digital Cultures (van de [...]

  7. [...] up with MOOC developments – Tony Bates via tonybates.ca Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Posted on February 16, 2013 by Donna [...]

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