Quality or Quantity? MOOCs?

Quality or Quantity? MOOCs?

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Well, I wouldn’t say throw the baby out with the bathwater, but…

The proliferation of massive open online courses (Moocs) is spreading “lousy pedagogy” and doing damage to the image of online learning, the chief information officer of the first UK university to sign up to one of the best-known Mooc platforms has said.

Jeff Haywood, who is also vice-principal for knowledge management at the University of Edinburgh, told a conference that although Moocs had provoked debate about online education, he still harboured concerns.

“I think that…some of the Moocs…are actually lousy pedagogy. They’re just not well designed for learners in any setting – face to face or online,” he told a debate at the Future of Technology in Education 2012 conference, held in London earlier this month.

“As a consequence, there is a risk that (Moocs) will get a bad name,” he continued. He said the fact that 100,000 or 150,000 learners were signing up to the early platforms was “irrelevant”, as in the future, courses “are not going to see those types of numbers: attrition, dropout, all of that has got to be worked out”.

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