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Massive Open Online Courses

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The ability to do an MBA online is attractive, but getting it for free is problematic. Ed Yourdon/Flickr

MOOC your way to a free MBA?

It has been suggested that, with care and dedication, you can assemble a Masters of Business Administration for free. Perhaps unsurprisingly for those in the know, the idea hasn’t caught on. When leading…
Getting practice in early. Online learning via Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Online learning at school helps prepare teens for university

Online learning has been around for more than 30 years, but recent excitement around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has brought it fully into the public eye. In schools, online learning used to be…
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. 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. 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. 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. 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…
Will the hype around free high quality higher education last? Online image from

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. 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. 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. 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? Exam image from

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? Open book image from

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. Keyboard image from

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. Online learning image from

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. Mouse and money image from

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…

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