Provocative Words: MOOCs are toast?

But online learning is here to stay. Doug Guthrie of GWU says the real gold in them thare hills is big data, doesn’t exactly seem to me like a news flash, since indeed there is even a MOOC on big data in education. (Love the creepy illustration of “baby’s first MOOC”).

From the Forbes Online article:

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 2.22.09 PM
The cloud drives of yesteryear; they were–um–libraries.


MOOCs are not a transformative innovation that will remake academia. That honor belongs to a more disruptive and far-reaching innovation—Big Data and its application, and the adaptive education that results. The vast numbers of data sets that are collected daily, or Big Data, will likely revolutionize online learning by allowing educators to customize learning to individual students through adaptive learning.
I’m not suggesting that MOOCs will disappear completely. Instead, I think they’ll be forced to rewire their programming to become a more successful online enterprise and morph into an adaptive experience.

I don’t agree…they will morph, no doubt, but I think the scale is part of what is transformational, and what it will transform may well be our idea of what an individual course and a whole curriculum should be.

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