University World News writes "Massive open online courses – MOOCs – offered by top universities have expanded worldwide over the last three years, gaining students globally for courses designed in the United States and elsewhere and disseminated globally on platforms like Coursera, edX and the British-based FutureLearn."
Their spread has the potential to disrupt the model of bricks-and-mortar universities each with their own courses – a theme much discussed in academia.
But a new type of MOOC – dubbed MOOC 2.0 – could even disrupt the way courses are devised, altering the top-down university designed curriculum and the professor-to-student course structure that is still part of the MOOC model.
Current MOOCs are top-down, the English language dominates and in the view of some they are a “one-way transfer of knowledge from the West to the rest”, says Yoonil Auh, a professor of instructional technology at Kyung Hee Cyber University, an online institution linked to the Kyung Hee bricks-and-mortar research university in South Korea.
Even as conventional MOOCs are expanding – Coursera last week announced its first MOOC with an Indian institution – the new type of MOOC is in the pipeline and is poised, if not to cause further disruption in higher education provision, at least to sit alongside traditional higher education and conventional MOOCs as an alternative.
Many conventional MOOCs are developed and designed for Western teaching and learning experiences, says Auh, the lead project designer for MOOC 2.0. “But the general consensus here [among those working on MOOC 2.0] is that MOOCs education must be a collective effort from all parts of the world.”
What is important, according to Auh, is that to avoid a “type of neo-colonialism”, receiving countries must collaborate in devising the MOOCs their students will study.
“The stance of MOOC 2.0 is higher education should find ways to address the needs of those at the bottom of the pyramid while being sensitive to their culture,” Auh told University World News.
“Content will not have to be taken in a specific order but would be more like cafeteria-style modules that can be customised; only those modules taken that are needed for their community.”
Source: University World News