MOOCs Need to Go Back to Their Roots

By Michael Burnam-Fink

They were supposed to be educational communities, not hypertextbooks.

This back-to-school season has also brought a wide range of developments in the online education space known as MOOCs: massively open online courses. While MOOCs vary in the details, most are free, taught by professors, and are solely for the edification of the student—not for credit. In recent weeks, we’ve seen announcements for the Open Education Alliance, a partnership between the state of California, Udacity, and a host of major tech companies, and Google combining its Course Builder software with Ivy League MOOC consortium EdX, making it easier for top notch professors to use the curriculum development equivalent of Gmail or Blogger.

We have seen a number of posts that show the perceived effectiveness of MOOCs as content delivery systems (not as affective as educational models).

About Ryan C. Fowler

Ryan is a curricular fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. He also teaches at Franklin and Marshall College and Lancaster Theological Seminary.
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