I think MOOC’s are wonderful. They usually allow students to take classes at their own pace and the weekly assignments and online quizzes are very good in proliferating understanding of the course materials. They are especially helpful for a lot of people who want to go back to college and better their careers. For me, especially the way that Code Academy did its online course was massively more helpful than my CSI 201 class where I usually find the non-interactive lectures and studying out of a textbook woeful. Whereas the Python tutorials had walked me through the process step-by-step Barney style, I usually have my hand raised in Lab a lot and have to wait on the TA along with several other students who also have trouble.
Prof. Robert Lue from Harvard specifically states that MOOC’s have the advantage to adapt to new advances in the field of study right away while textbooks can take years to publish. He also states that their ability to teach Scientific thinking rather than Mechanics and encouraging peer reviews would be advantageous as well.
One of the dissenting voices to MOOC’s is Prof. Gianpiero Petriglieri also from Harvard states in his blog that MOOC’s are a type of popular digital consumerism which do nothing but satisfy people who want what they want and want it now. They push across cost cutting in universities and prevent additional reforms from being made in classrooms which are already battered. He also states that “It is far more similar to colonialism, that is, disruption brought about by “the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker people or areas” and simultaneously increasing its cultural reach and control of resources.” They would prevent socialization and spreading of culture.
Petriglieri G. (2013, October 9). Let Them Eat MOOCs. HBR Blog Network. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/10/let-them-eat-moocs/?utm_source=Socialflow&utm_medium=Tweet&utm_campaign=Socialflow.
Dostenko S. (2013, October 16). MOOCs: Can They Produce the Next Einstein? Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/svetlana-dotsenko/moocs-can-they-produce-th_b_4099322.html.
N.L. (2013, October 1). Will MOOC’s kill University Degrees ? The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/10/economist-explains.