Research Profile

Saturday, 15 February 2014

MOOCS - too big to succeed?

It seems that rumours of the imminent demise of campus-based higher education - in favour of free online MOOCs - have been greatly exaggerated. Well - apparently according to an article in the Financial Times, Stanford University President, John Hennessy claims that MOOCS are neither massive nor open.

Whilst it was easy for the majority in academia to predict the shortcomings of MOOCs, it is vital that universities learn from these experiments in online course provision. They have reinforced the importance of quality in higher education and a focus on learning outcomes - and perhaps the move from "massive and open" to "small and private" will offer an incremental improvement in education. 

But now - unshackled from the hype - is the moment for universities to seize the opportunity that digital technology offers - especially for personalised learning. With it comes an opportunity to improve and broaden the educational experience and to fuel innovation and economic growth.

With more than 178m people across the globe in tertiary education, the sector represents an enormous, growing global market - and it is an area in which the UK is pre-eminent.  However we will need to take rapid action to bring together educators and investors if we are to effect the transformation to higher education that the digital revolution could yet still deliver. 

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