Is there a future for Massive Open Online Courses?
Massive open online courses (MOOC) is a relatively new means of assessing education with little or no costs. All the participant needs to have is a computer with internet connectivity and this will enable him participate in online study programs at his own pace. The number of participants can range from a few hundred to several thousand and more American universities are using this means of teaching to reach more participants who are un able to attend a convential university as a result of costs or their tight schedule.
MOOCs definitely have their advantages such as it being free (unless there is need for some form of program accreditation), learning in an informal manner that enable participant learn at their own pace and the fact that participants work can be shared, critiqued by co-participants, which gives them something of a peer review approach. However, there are obvious disadvantages to this form of mass learning as it relates to the inability of students to engage in real world socializing and networking. There is the point about academic dishonesty that have not been addressed, as there bis little or no supervision by course providers to participants.
All said, if these concerns are adequately addressed, this mode of learning might be benficial to students from developing countries who may want higher education and their own pace, with little or now costs implications and also gain access to some world class professors in their chosen field.