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Department of Information Technology

The Rise and Fall of MOOC: What Can we Learn About the Education of the Future?

Arnold Neville Pears

Date and Time
Friday, October 7th, 2016 at 14:15.

Polacksbacken, ITC 1211

During the first decade of the 21st century the MOOC phenomenon caught the imagination of academics, policy makers and think tanks world wide. Widely touted as a panacea to the educational challenges of the century, a paradigm shift, and major game changer in the higher education landscape MOOC was predicted to threaten the future of traditional universities. MOOC would replace face to face teaching as the dominant paradigm of a new age of digital education without economic, geographical or socio-economic boundaries.

Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun was quoted in an article in Wired magazine in March 2012, making a bold prediction. ” In 50 years, he [said], there will be only 10 institutions in the world delivering higher education and Udacity has a shot at being one of them." Thrun just needed to plot the right course!

He was not alone in predicting the demise of the traditional University! The same year (2012) Ernst and Young Australia published a report on the MOOC phenomenon claiming, ”[…] that the dominant university model in Australia — a broad-based teaching and research institution, supported by a large asset base and a large, predominantly in-house back office — will prove unviable in all but a few cases over the next 10-15 years.”

As we move towards 2017 these bold predictions seem increasingly lesslikely to come to fruition, however, the bold foray into ubiquitous online education has ushered in a new flora of digital resources and delivery platforms for online learners. Reflecting on the MOOC experience allows us to draw some important conclusions with which to fuel our continuing quest for a ”Brave New World” of open education for all.

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Updated  2016-10-21 14:07:07 by Peter Waites.