Welcome to Moocville Blog.
I will be offering periodic reports on major developments in the world of MOOCs.
Today I want to talk about two such developments in June 2013.
The first is the globalization of the MOOC phenomenon. MOOCS have been associated in the public mind with the large US platforms: edX, Coursera and Edacity in particular. Indeed, many commentators have claimed that MOOCs are an effort by US educational entrepreneurs to dominate the future of higher education globally.
Well if that was ever the intent, no such luck!
MOOCs are growing in all regions of the world.
Examples include Verduca in Latin America, iversity in (Europe) Germany, Schoo in Japan, WorldWideEd in Canada, and others in Australia and elsewhere.
The MOOC phenomeonon is now entirely global and spreading. By the end of next year MOOCs will be as familiar to knowledge seekers as universities are today. Many millions of learners will have had some experience with MOOCs, and they will spread the world. The positives and negatives of the MOOC experience will become clear, and the MOOC platforms will respond with better MOOCs.
The big question is where will higher education move from there. How will other institutions adjust to this change in education?
One possible answer is found in my second story, the recent partnership of edX with the IMF. Like many NGOs, the IMF is a producer of high quality courseware for their employees and members. IMF courses on International Finance have been enjoyed by central bankers and policy makers in IMF member states.
Now many of these courses will be available free to the general public.
In 2013 a few of these courses will be available on the edX platform. By next year, several of them will be available for free to anyone seeking training in International banking. If that floats your boat, these may be just the thing you were looking for.
The importance of this development should be clear. The boundary between higher education organizations and NGOs is beginning to blur. Of course the IMF doesn't offer an MBA and their courses are not for university credit. Most members of their current audience are chuck full if university diplomas.
But the IMF, like so many other NGOs, is a storehouse of information products which can be re-purposed as courseware. So when higher education aggregator organizations emerge, as they are certain to, they will without doubt be packaging these NGO courses along with MOOCs from University sponsors to create degree -equivalent qualifications.
Why would employers pay any attention to these? Well, the diploma is used as a job filter to lower transaction costs. The degree equivalent qualification will serve the same purpose, and maybe better.
Tell me, Mr. employer, would you prefer a qualification backed by 30 or 40 MOOC certificates from the world's leading universities, or a diploma from Pugwash State U? Which one will display more
initiative, self-direction, and cutting edge knowledge?