This is a long article critiquing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course). Back in the early 2000s I had a year’s education leave to study educational technology. Much of it was delivered either on line or blended on line and classroom.
I hated the experience and never did finish the degree.
However, much of the critique of MOOCs misses the point.
- The Kahn Academy, which I happen to like a lot, uses the lowest possible technology – there is nothing sophisticated about it. However, the instructor knows the kinds of problems students might have and he also has a pleasing personality. As soon as online education gets too sophisticated, it looses students.
- The for profit universities have a vested interest in their students not succeeding. If you get their tuition and they don’t complete the course, you lower your per pupil costs.
- The problem with many online courses isn’t the absence of human contact but too much human contact. As soon as you require students to interact online, you build a massive amount of data that other students must read. If you sit in a classroom, you have to listen to far less “drivel” from your fellow students.