MOOCs – Raising the Question- “Is Value Always Tied To Purpose or Profit Lines?”!

The times they are a-changin’.

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exploring teaching and Learning  video and new media at Dancehackit  2011If you were called a “Moocs ” when I was growing up it  meant you were deliberately  Not Brilliant! Today the world over MOOCs are massive open online courses,  given by top  universities. I  still prefer OCW open coursewear… but hey! You’ll find an extensive list of Mooc’s in this post  to which we’d add edX which we picked up in this You may want to take a look at the entire Virtual U series

Notably they are free but who signs up and why use these?

I’ve signed up  out of curiosity, the opportunity to take a course from a leading  institute  was simply too much to  pass up.  Would I have taken the same courses were there a fee attached. Definitely NOT! I can see the value for the driven and those who truly cannot afford. Free is not always the best model.  Literally  they classes were like an open broadcast and I learned I’m not a video  learner! I can  do distance learning enabled by  video. but simply  sending me a weekly  ”lesson” whether or not I even opened the last one…

Many Now want  ”Verified certification”. What value  will this bring? How will they signify capability!  I’m not quite  sure…  but as a society we believe in certification, not necessarily  capability! I  believe in life learning… but do  want a designer who never practiced, but has a certificate responsible for my project… NO!

One other concern is numbers… sure you attract millions but at what cost.

We seem to believe that  we can “convert”  free users to paid users.

My  experience is that someone who will pay will pay from the start.

The process of marketing “Free” is different from marketing paid, whether or not you start  up front  or  later on. what works in one will not work in another. You will not learn how to fly an airplane at mach 20 by  flying a commercial jet!  The only way  you fly an airplane at mach 20 is to… fly an airplane at mach  20! 

Which brings us to the  value of these and is value always tied to purpose.. or profit lines!

Many see it as a way to educate the masses… democratize education as such. While few will argue that education  is valuable. Are attendees being educated?

Much of what I have learned was self harvested from online sources, and put into  context with  my  experience. I have also watched as many used social media, email and many of the web tools and the look in their eyes alerted me they had not a clue as to what they were doing!  Many were in fact educating others.  I’ve watched may  do online courses – “Cram,  regurgitate move on”. The danger in this type of education being  ”verified” really bothers me.

Then again what is the problem we seek to solve with mass education Enlightenment or employment! Many taking these classes are searching for employment. Can these large groups truly be adequately  verified? I  believe that Massive and volume has it’s place . I prefer the attention that can be paid to smaller numbers, and face to face interactivity even at a distance. I like changing perspective and opening eyes… even if it means working one on one, But i have also experience the convenience of doing this one on  one across the globe at  3 am across timezones!

Yes I will continue taking these free workshops for life learning but while I  am comfortable with  distance learning.  as a student and a teacher, I’ll take my  education for employment in smaller groups with  more hands on  attention!

At TibiaeTech we’re set on developing a platform that will allow distance learning and real time interaction as opposed to  a pure video learning experience! The difference tele-presence- using video  that will allow whatever we can do across a table, counter or room to ensure online in real time! I’m also  adding some online classes and workshops  to this site check out offerings under the workshops category!



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