Quote: “MOOCs, in short, have become all things to all people…”

“MOOCs, in short, have become all things to all people. For the naive techies of the world, they will end inequality. To investors in Udacity and Coursera, they will hopefully make enough to aggravate it. To superprofessors, they will bring quality learning to the masses. To the retired physics professors of the world who take every MOOC in sight, they’re more of an opportunity for entertainment that beats whatever is on television. All of this is a product of the fact that MOOC providers have absolutely no idea what their market even is. Unfortunately for them, they’ll have better luck bringing Elvis back from the dead than they will satisfying all these constituencies at once.”

From “The MOOCs are in Joan Rivers but they’re trying to get out” by Jonathan Rees over at More or Less Bunk.

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3 thoughts on “Quote: “MOOCs, in short, have become all things to all people…”

  1. That’s excellent. I am currently working on a project related to innovation in education, and so MOOCs feature heavily in these discussions, but as per usual, there is the usual techno-determinism surrounding them. It is a shame that for all our prowess in developing new pieces of kit, new processes and algorithms, our general and popular discussion of technology remains at a fairly rudimentary level. We have had excellent theorists of technology from Lewis Mumford on (I pass over Heidegger in silence…), up to Jacques Ellul, David F. Noble, and Bernard Stiegler more recently. All of these figures emphasise the social aspect and implications of every technology, and how central such considerations are. Yet, the popular discussion remains crudely pro or contra.

    I thought this was interesting from a market perspective, since that’s where the push for/towards MOOCs is coming from: http://pandodaily.com/2013/09/13/moocs-and-the-gartner-hype-cycle-a-very-slow-tsunami/

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