Archive for October 25, 2013

MOOCs as Colonialism: Let Them Eat MOOCs

Great blog post that really captures the most important criticism of MOOCs (thanks to Karen Head for forwarding it).  We had Armando Fox of Berkeley’s “MOOC” Center visit (video of his GVU Brown Bag talk), and he said explicitly in his talk, “MOOCs are not about democratization of education.  They’re really about the rich getting richer.”  I blogged on these themes this month for Blogs@CACM: Results from the first-year course MOOCs: Not there yet

Worst of all, they may become a convenient excuse for giving up on the reforms needed to provide broad access to affordable higher education. The traditional kind, that is, which for all its problems still affords graduates higher chances of employment and long-term economic advantages.

Seen from this perspective, the techno-democratization of education looks like a cover story for its aristocratization. MOOCs aren’t digital keys to great classrooms’ doors. At best, they are infomercials for those classrooms. At worst, they are digital postcards from gated communities.

This is why I am a MOOC dissenter. More than a revolution, so far this movement reminds me of a different kind of disruption: colonialism.

via Let Them Eat MOOCs – Gianpiero Petriglieri – Harvard Business Review.

October 25, 2013 at 1:57 am 3 comments


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