TEL and MOOCs – how does it all fit together?

There’s a buzz about MOOCs, and quite right too. They open up new education opportunities to many people, and they’re free – what’s not to like? 

But some express concern that this will displace other types of teaching, including those which make use of technology. What will MOOCs mean for TEL?

My personal view is that MOOCs will be part of a diversified portfolio of options offered by many universities. There will always be a place for presence-based courses, backed up by effective use of technology for on-site students. Blended learning, and conventional web-based distance learning will have their place too. MOOCs will, I think, evolve into being another card in our hand.

MOOCs will impact on-site teaching too. Tracy Futhey, CIO at Duke University, said at the Educause conference in 2013 that each academic at Duke who had taught on a MOOC had reflected on, and changed, some element of their face-to-face teaching.

Some universities (whatever that includes in the future!) will specialise in online, while others specialise in presence-based. This is no different from some specialising today in arts and others in sciences.

What do you think?


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