Sunday, December 15, 2013

Open Education: Chance and Challange

Sir John Daniel, the Commonwealth of Learning, ever said that it would require building three campuses for 30,000 students every week for the next 13 years. In this era, there is an alternative to solve this problem, a problem which is caused by the conventional teaching method which requires physical building and physical meetings, a face to face. The alternative is an open education model which is backgrounded by [1],
  1. The lack of high-quality training materials
  2. Shortage of qualified teachers
  3. Evident to expand access of (formal) education
Those three reasons caused open movement in education. On of the big ones, grow big and bigger, is MOOC, a massive open online course. Why MOOCs? The discussion about the future of education will never end, but the trend converges to the three aspects below [2],
  1. Technology—especially the Web, social media, and related technologies—enabling new forms of distributed education and learning
  2. Growing numbers of “edupreneurs” with new ideas for how to create new and innovative education and learning experiences, and benefiting from incubators and willing investors providing risk capital for new edu-ventures
  3. Disillusion by many students (and parents) of existing, traditional educational models and, especially, the high cost and inflexibility of these models.

The MOOC accommodates all of those three aspects: technology, edupreneurs, and the disillusion of current educational model. MOOC offers online learning with informal teaching method. You can learn while eating, seating in your room, or while doing other activities. As you can follow the course on MOOC, do all quizzes and tasks, meet the minimum score and requirement to pass the course, then you will get a certificate of accomplishment. MOOC is simple, yet revolutionary learning method!

Financial Impact

By using this revolutionary learning method, a MOOC, the cost for higher education was reduced. For example, in US the tuition fee was increased 559% since 1995. By joining an open platform via MOOC, the tuition fee is set at affordable prices. It is about half or less from the current tuition fee via university directly. This financial impact also influences the education material. Most of MOOC using open education material (oem) which is freely available or charged at affordable prices. Compared to the traditional standard textbook, the open textbook reduced the cost by over 50%.

The Challenge

Finally, there some possible challenge for MOOC as following [3],
  1. it feels chaotic as participants create their own content
  2. It demands digital literacy
  3. It demands time and effort from the participants
  4. It is organic, which means the course will take on its own trajectory (you have got to let go).
  5. As a participant, you need to be able to self-regulate your learning and possibly give yourself a learning goal to achieve.

Would you like to receive the challenge of MOOC? Let’s get it a try and get your first MOOC’s certificate of accomplishment.

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