MOOCs as Colonialism: Let Them Eat MOOCs

October 25, 2013 at 1:57 am 3 comments

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.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mgozaydin  |  October 25, 2013 at 6:25 am


    A reform needed in HE .

    But nonody knows what to do .
    No proposal
    — To reduce the cost
    — To increase the quality of HE in the USA.

    Therefore today it seems
    good online by elite reputable universities are the best reform .
    Also please do not forget
    much better technology than online on the way coming .
    So no hope to go back to dark classrooms.

  • 2. Alfred Thompson  |  October 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I’m not impressed with the idea of MOOCs. I think that one group of people is looking for an easy way to appear to be doing something. That it might work is more wishful thinking than science. Others are looking for a way to make more money for less investment.

    • 3. mgozaydin  |  October 27, 2013 at 5:46 am

      We are not ” one group of people looking for an easy way to appear to be doing someting ”
      We are dedicated believers of good online by top universities .
      Fortunately our numbers are increasing everyday .


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