Dear Commons Community,
MOOC fever is cooling among campus information-technology leaders, according to the 2014 edition of the Campus Computing Survey, an annual report on technology in higher education. As reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education:
“While a little more than half of last year’s respondents thought MOOCs “offer a viable model for the effective delivery of online instruction,” just 38 percent of this year’s participants agreed with that statement. And only 19 percent of respondents in 2014 said MOOCs could generate new revenue for colleges, down from 29 percent last fall.
“I’m not surprised to see some pessimism about the role of MOOCs in the future,” said Norman Bier, director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University. “After a lot of “Part of the challenge is, they came out guns blazing with this grand prediction of disruption,” said Benjamin B. Bederson, associate provost for learning initiatives at the University of Maryland at College Park. “It’s absolutely the case that they haven’t come anywhere close to the level of disruption” people thought possible two years ago.excitement and a little bit of hype over the past year or two, what we’re seeing is, simply taking learning materials and making them available is not a guarantee of quality.”
This was inevitable as it is with many over-hyped, “disruptive” technologies. I would add that this survey is important given that the respondents are IT leaders who generally are the most informed individuals on campuses with regard to technology. However, I would not equate the pessimism regarding MOOCs as equivalent to pessimism regarding online learning in general. To the contrary, faculty at colleges and universities are adopting more online technology including MOOCs and doing so in pedagogically valuable ways and especially in blended formats. In my opinion, the attractiveness of the MOOC model was always more about mass production and costs than teaching and learning.
P.S. The survey will be available for purchase starting on December 1 at campuscomputing.net.