Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A MOOC Question

There is a rich debate on as to whether a MOOC will revolutionize the learning industry. One side is the argument that is open, free, allows learning at your own time and if well built, it can enable peer to peer learning, reviews and suchlike. All in all, a great tool. No doubt about it.

And thus I enrolled in the the Stanford V-Lab course. It seemed to start off well, but then one weekend (when I was supposed to finish my assignment) I was too tied up. And I did manage to write the assignment, but did not click the 'submit' button. So it stayed, in that un submitted state. That was one strike against me. And I did not want to be a student who did not submit an assignment. So, I stopped. Thus, I can relate to many a well-intentioned person who might have joined the course, but dropped off.

Now, drop outs are quite common. From my own experience, many of these 'correspondence' classes like the Brilliant IIT tutorials and distance learning classes are littered with drop outs - not that they care - because like gyms, they have made their money and sent you the books. If you dont finish the course, well, make difference. And this, even after they pay. So, drop offs for free courses are bound to be more.

The right answer might be a blended MOOC approach. A MOOC course made available to remote universities and teachers to provide guided course access to their students.Perhaps.

As for me, I have not given up yet. I signed up for a new course in coursera. And let me see how that goes...

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