On October 3rd 2017 I presented a keynote at Pushing the Boundaries of Higher Education: challenging traditional models with innovative and creative practices in Barcelona, Spain. Keynote presentations were given by several colleagues I know well, including Terry Anderson, Tony Bates, Yishay Mor, Rikke Toft, Philipp Schmidt, Jim Groom, Brian Lamb.
The event focused on the challenges that current higher education models face and showcased innovative initiatives and practices that offer new perspectives on educational futures. My presentation explored issues around whether the claims on opening access to higher education through MOOCs and OER are being realised. This critique forms the basis of my book with Nina Hood Reconceptualising Learning in the Digital Age: the [un]democtratising potential of MOOCs, published by Springer in late 2018. The presentation is here http://symposium.uoc.edu/8458/videos/pushing-the-boundaries-of-higher-education_-challenging-traditional-models-with-innovative-and-crea.html
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been signalled as being designed to disrupt and democratise education through opening access for millions of learners worldwide. In the presentation I will examine these claims, identifying tensions. MOOCs are positioned as democratising but they appear to advantage the elite, rather than act as an equaliser. The are viewed as a disruptor but they tend to reproduce formal education, rather than disrupt it. MOOCs are designed for those who can learn, rather than opening access for all. FInally MOOCs they are measured by metrics that may not be appropriate for open, distance education. These tensions are analysed and potential ways forward are sketched out.