Established universities and colleges are being challenged by what commentators term disruptive innovations.   Among the most important are MOOCs.   How should established universities and colleges respond?  There are several options.

The first is to do nothing.   This is not an uncommon response.   Institutions establish committees to study the challenges and prepare reports.   Sometimes recommendations are made.   Often they are not implemented, or only a few minor changes are made.   Sometimes it is decided to do a bit more.  A press release may be issued saying that important things are going to be done.  An initiative may even be launched, but the heart of the institution and its leadership are not in the initiative and in a year or two it quietly disappears and the press release is forgotten.   Perhaps the challenges will turn out not to be so significant after all; perhaps the publicity given them is mostly hype.  In these cases inactivity may be best.

But if a university or college should be convinced that the challenges are real and that they require a response, what are its options for response.  There are three.   The first is for the institution to build its own online courses.   The second is for it to give credit for MOOCs.  The third is to acquire professionally built online courses.

The three pro-active responses for an institution to the challenge of MOOCs are:

A.     BUILD ONLINE COURSES

B.     GIVE CREDIT FOR MOOCS

C.     ACQUIRE PROFESSIONALLY-BUILT ONLINE COURSES

In our next several posts we will examine each of these three options in turn.

 


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One Reply to “ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE OF DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE IN HIGHER EDUCATION: MOOCs”

  1. I’ve been very intrigued by the cnepoct for a while, probably because I’m too cheap to pay for anything and was attracted by the notion of free I did sign-up for one of Dave and George’s first MOOC about three years ago, after hearing about it on EdTechTalk. I was impressed with the organization of the course and quickly learned (and now apply daily) that it’s because even the slightest room for misinterpretation about any detail will quickly lead to a multitude of emails asking for clarification. I didn’t stay in the course very long, due to other pressures on my time, which leads to my only other observation from a student’s perspective: when you pay for something, you (obviously) have a higher investment into that experience and are more likely to take it seriously. For me, since it was free and so massive that no one would notice me just silently ignoring the course, I lacked some of the motivation those other pressures may have given me to stay in the course. I suspect the drop-out rate of a MOOC is much higher than a more traditional course.

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