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Massive Open Online Courses

Analysis and Comment (43)

Human-centred leraning, a thing of the past? Human-centred leraning, a thing of the past? Professor via Olly/Shutterstock

Does the age of online education herald the death of academics?

In the mid-1980s as a further education lecturer I was mocked by some more traditional colleagues for using “lantern slides”, their term for the then newfangled technology of the overhead projector, or…
No patience for mess. No patience for mess. ted_major

No room for sloppiness in online classroom

When your classroom is a global one, filled with well-informed online learners, they don’t cut you much slack. Hundreds of people pore over every element of your course, making well-informed and sometime…
Cyber-security takes more than cautious laptop ownership. Cyber-security takes more than cautious laptop ownership. sridgway

UK trails European neighbours on cyber-security

To my amazement, the latest Eurobarometer survey on Cyber Security across Europe received very little attention in the UK, despite its quite revealing findings. The report shows in no uncertain terms that…
Udacity’s founder Sebastian Thrun has over-promised and under-delivered. Udacity’s founder Sebastian Thrun has over-promised and under-delivered. Flickr/jdlasica

The failure of Udacity: lessons on quality for future MOOCs

The promise was simple, but the idea couldn’t have been bigger. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) would make courses from Harvard and MIT available free to anyone with an internet connection. The world’s…
Learning on the job could make a real difference to healthcare. Learning on the job could make a real difference to healthcare. Tricia Wang

Developing countries and the MOOC learning revolution

Universities are being shaken up by a new mode of learning. The world’s elite institutions are opening up courses so thousands of people can learn for free via their laptops, mobiles or tablets. And these…
Does it matter if most Massive Open Online Courses are in English? Does it matter if most Massive Open Online Courses are in English? Language image from www.shutterstock.com

MOOCs and the language barrier: is open education not so open after all?

For many educators, the dream feels tantalisingly close: free, quality education for everyone in the world. The arrival of Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs led to predictions of a great new age of…
Will the hype around free high quality higher education last? Will the hype around free high quality higher education last? Online image from www.shutterstock.com

From MOOCs to HARVARDs: will online go mainstream?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) draw a spectrum of responses. Should we be spruiking MOOCs? Spooked by MOOCs? Or hoping the hype will fade and the fad will pass? Most of us know the headlines. Free…
Finally! A UK MOOC can be mine. Finally! A UK MOOC can be mine. CollegeDegrees360

MOOCs open for business in the UK

Massive Open Online Courses landed in the UK today with the launch of FutureLearn, a project led by the Open University and including around 20 universities from the UK, Monash University in Australia…
From massively open to really massively open. From massively open to really massively open. oxyman

Google and friends put the ‘open’ back into MOOCs

The entrance of Google into the Massive Open Online Courses market this week has the potential to reignite the spirit of openness that saw these alternative routes into higher education emerge in the first…
We need to think beyond the classroom if we’re going to improve maths and science education. We need to think beyond the classroom if we’re going to improve maths and science education. One Laptop per Child

To multiply maths students, take away classrooms and add online courses

MATHS AND SCIENCE EDUCATION: We’ve asked our authors about the state of maths and science education in Australia and its future direction. In this instalment, Chris Tisdell examines the benefits of online…
Traditionally, students took exams on site at a university. But how does assessment work with online courses? Traditionally, students took exams on site at a university. But how does assessment work with online courses? Exam image from www.shutterstock.com

Proving knowledge by degrees: MOOCs and the challenge of assessment

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have certainly got higher education folks talking. These free online courses, often from prestigious universities, have prompted one obvious question: why should students…
The open education movement seems as though it’s here to stay – but why would anyone give away their work for free? The open education movement seems as though it’s here to stay – but why would anyone give away their work for free? Open book image from www.shutterstock.com

Giving it away for free: sharing really is caring in the open education movement

The New York Times dubbed 2012 the year of the MOOC. And for many, the seemingly unstoppable rise of Massive Open Online Courses – courses which are offered for free by prestigious universities – is where…
An essay you submit in an online course might not be graded by humans but by computers instead. An essay you submit in an online course might not be graded by humans but by computers instead. Keyboard image from www.shutterstock.com

Computer thinks you’re dumb: automated essay grading in the world of MOOCs

Let us consider the following scenario. You have enrolled in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered by a world renowned university. After four weeks of solid work you have completed your first assignment…
Red tape could be preventing online education from really flourishing in Australia. Red tape could be preventing online education from really flourishing in Australia. Online learning image from www.shutterstock.com

Rules and regulation could strangle online learning

Regulation has always shaped Australian higher education. Some rules have helped – like extending HELP loans to private higher education providers in 2005. While tougher rules – like the ones to define…
There is a danger that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) may end up being more about money and less about education. There is a danger that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) may end up being more about money and less about education. Mouse and money image from www.shutterstock.com

Public good or playing markets? The real reason for MOOCs

The astonishing idealism and energy manifest in the advance of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has taken the higher education world by storm. Universities have been shaken to their foundations by the…
Online learning offers plenty of opportunities but only if it’s done right. Online learning offers plenty of opportunities but only if it’s done right. Online learning image from www.shutterstock.com

Online students need more face-to-face time, not less

Higher education, we’re told, is rapidly heading towards huge transformation and technological disruption. Advocates of online education promise that advances in online learning technologies – by permitting…
Copyright law could make the job of creating Massive Open Online Courses more difficult. Copyright law could make the job of creating Massive Open Online Courses more difficult. Legal image from www.shutterstock.com

Legal learning: how do MOOCs and copyright work?

Another university has jumped on the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) bandwagon this month, with the Australian National University joining up with Harvard venture edX. In ANU’s case, it will enable Nobel…
The future of higher education doesn’t look so bright. The future of higher education doesn’t look so bright. Higher education image from www.shutterstock.com

University 2060: the brave new world of higher education

Higher education, 2060: academics are out of a job. All the brand name universities have made all their courses free online, easily doing away with one side of the teaching and learning equation. Pretty…
Can you really identify a person based on the way they type? Can you really identify a person based on the way they type? e y e / s e e /flickr

Coursera to fight online cheating – but do biometrics even work?

There are two elephants in the digital classroom. Or, to be more specific, two big questions: Are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) economically sustainable, a function of the interaction between market…
Will open educational resources affect all stages of education? Will open educational resources affect all stages of education? Child computer image from www.shutterstock.com

In 2025, will we still be sending our kids to school?

By now, most of you have probably heard of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – courses by universities like MIT and Stanford that are available for free online. But what about Massive Open Online Kindergartens…
Time to take a MOOC – Massive Open Online Course – for a test drive. Time to take a MOOC – Massive Open Online Course – for a test drive. Online course image from www.shutterstock.com

An insider’s guide: what it’s really like to study a MOOC

Anyone who has been paying attention to higher education this year will have heard of the MOOC – courses from prestigious universities offered for free online. There’s been great interest in them from…
Free online courses from prestigious universities have caused a stir, but they won’t shut universities down. Free online courses from prestigious universities have caused a stir, but they won’t shut universities down. Online education image from www.shutterstock.com

Online learning glitch: MOOC flaws will be hard to resolve

Last weekend, The Guardian ran an article entitled “Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university?” Had I been the one writing that article, it would have been precisely two letters long…
President Barack Obama addressing a large crowd at University of Wisconsin – could he or his competitor Mitt Romney change higher education in Australia? President Barack Obama addressing a large crowd at University of Wisconsin – could he or his competitor Mitt Romney change higher education in Australia? EPA/Tannen Maury

Why the US election matters for Australian higher education

US presidential elections generally have little direct impact on Australia. And broadly speaking, this campaign is shaping up to be no different. Despite their ideological differences, Barack Obama and…
With free, quality online education from brand-name universities, will overseas students come to Australia? With free, quality online education from brand-name universities, will overseas students come to Australia? Elephant image from www.shutterstock.com

The elephant in the chat room: will international students stay at home?

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: We continue our series on the rise of online and blended learning and how free online courses are set to transform the higher education sector. Today, Wollongong University’s…
Australian humanities subjects need to get on board with MOOCs and develop Australian voices in online learning. Australian humanities subjects need to get on board with MOOCs and develop Australian voices in online learning. World image from www.shutterstock.com

Deadset? MOOCs and Australian education in a globalised world

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: We continue our series on the rise of online and blended learning and how free online courses are set to transform the higher education sector. Today Ruth Morgan looks at the…
Quality education which is free online may only affect some parts of the higher education sector. Quality education which is free online may only affect some parts of the higher education sector. Laptop image from www.shutterstock.com

Online learning will change universities by degrees

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: We continue our series on the rise of online and blended learning and how free online courses are set to transform the higher education sector. Today RMIT’s Vice Chancellor…
Some people could be left behind in the digital revolution in higher education. Some people could be left behind in the digital revolution in higher education. Divide image from www.shutterstock.com

Online education: can we bridge the digital divide?

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: We continue our series on the rise of online and blended learning and how free online courses are set to transform the higher education sector. Today, Tim Pitman writes on who…
Online learning has shown a better way to design courses. Online learning has shown a better way to design courses. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Radical rethink: how to design university courses in the online age

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The rise of online and blended learning and the development of free online courses is set to transform the higher education sector. We’ve asked our authors how to remake the…
Massive open online education could be the answer to addressing community and industry needs. Massive open online education could be the answer to addressing community and industry needs. Head image from www.shutterstock.com

How Australian universities can play in the MOOCs market

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The rise of online and blended learning and the development of free online courses is set to transform the higher education sector. We’ve asked our authors how to remake the…
Are you motivated or do you need a social setting and role models to keep you driven? Are you motivated or do you need a social setting and role models to keep you driven? Exercise bike image from www.shutterstock.com

MOOCs and exercise bikes – more in common than you’d think

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The rise of online and blended learning and the development of free online courses is set to transform the higher education sector. We’ve asked our authors how to remake the…
A flexible online learning environment is what Australian university students want, so what’s getting in the way? A flexible online learning environment is what Australian university students want, so what’s getting in the way? Student image from www.shutterstock.com

Online opportunities: digital innovation or death through regulation?

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The rise of online and blended learning and the development of free online courses is set to transform the higher education sector. We’ve asked our authors how to remake the…
ANU vice-chancellor Ian Young says those giving away course content for free will find it difficult to later introduce fees. ANU vice-chancellor Ian Young says those giving away course content for free will find it difficult to later introduce fees. AAP

ANU vice-chancellor issues MOOCs warning

Australian universities should be wary of being their “own worst enemy” when embracing Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) delivery, says Australian National University vice chancellor Ian Young. Comparing…
How will online courses deal with assessment and accreditation? How will online courses deal with assessment and accreditation? Cloud computing image www.shutterstock.com.au

Credentials in the cloud: how will MOOCs deal with plagiarism?

Many are proclaiming 2012 is the year of the MOOC — Massive Open Online Course — thanks to the arrival of major players, edX, Udacity and Coursera all started by colleagues from elite American universities…
Despite online courses available for free, university students still want the experience of bricks and mortar campuses. Despite online courses available for free, university students still want the experience of bricks and mortar campuses. University campus image from www.shutterstock.com

MOOCs will mean the death of universities? Not likely

MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are gaining a lot of attention. Some commentators believe that these free internet-delivered courses are the future of university education. Others meanwhile argue…
The rise of open online courses will affect almost every part of higher education, including the international student market in Australia. The rise of open online courses will affect almost every part of higher education, including the international student market in Australia. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Online open education: yes, this is the game changer

Mass Open Online Courseware (MOOCs) is less than a year old but it is already clear this will be the game changer in higher education worldwide. Right now it is reverberating through Australian universities…
Avoid the hype – we need to take a realistic look at the changes ahead in higher education. Avoid the hype – we need to take a realistic look at the changes ahead in higher education. Flickr/Stanford EdTech

MOOCs: neither the death of the university nor a panacea for learning

My childhood was influenced in some measure by two great icons that no longer exist. The first was Kodak – I adored my Box Brownie and I still have the wonderful grainy black and white pics. The second…
Universities sell more than just lectures and lessons. Universities sell more than just lectures and lessons. Flickr/Butler University

When courses are free online, what’s left for universities to sell?

When some of the world’s most prestigious universities – including Harvard and MIT in their edX venture or Stanford and Princeton through Coursera – start putting courses online for free, it tells you…
Paying for expensive textbooks could be a thing of the past for university students. Paying for expensive textbooks could be a thing of the past for university students. Flickr/Abstract Machine

Sick of paying for textbooks? Get them now, free and online

In the same way that free open online courseware is threatening to disrupt traditional universities, open textbook initiatives such as OpenStax College from Rice University threaten to do the same to the…
Getting students hands on experience through a virtual world is the next big step in education. Getting students hands on experience through a virtual world is the next big step in education. Flickr/Mercy Health

Virtual campus: online universities are the future of higher education

In higher education, we’ve been talking about “e-learning” for years. But, in practice, we have mostly been teaching in the same way just through different mediums; that is, delivering one-way lectures…
Entire universities may one day fit in students' pockets. Entire universities may one day fit in students' pockets. KidzConnect

Tech for teaching: five trends changing higher education

More than 1,000 years of formal university learning and teaching does not change quickly, or without a struggle. But we are starting to see some key tech trends engaging staff and students – and therein…
Physical attendance at lectures may become a thing of the past. Physical attendance at lectures may become a thing of the past. Flickr/Matt From London

Digital dawn: open online learning is just beginning

Universities are traditionally seen as exclusive institutions for the few, not the many. But that is changing as a new wave of online courses throws open the doors of academia to all. Led by world renowned…
What does it mean to be truly open? What does it mean to be truly open? D Sharon Pruitt

Open sesame! Taking university education to the world via the web

The word “open” has grown educational wings over the past decade. From the British Open University, which enrolled its first students in 1971, the concept has expanded to mean various ways of relaxing…

Research and News (14)

UQ joins MOOCs movement

The University of Queensland has become the latest institution to embrace open online learning, committing to offer up to…