MOOCs and Mass Customisation

MOOC: Massive Open Online Course

Mass Customisation: the way products are customised according to the user’s needs

Can they be combined?

I’ve covered Mass Cutomisation and Education (and the ELC) before on these pages (December 2011). No answers yet, and some changes – ELEP is no more and after becoming an ELE it is now Excel@English (perhaps a message for us there).

To summarise my thinking about mass customisation and education,  paraphrasing Joe Pine, ‘students don’t want a choice; they want exactly what they want’.

If the movement is towards giving students more choice about what, when and how they study, then aren’t MOOCs heading in the opposite direction? Is a MOOC a massive course which is the same for all the students? Are is it? Does each student on a MOOC take something different from it.

At the same time, can adaptive learning be incorporated in a MOOC? The free rice model?

Are disruptions good or bad?  An opportunity or a threat? Something which was partially covered by Gavin Dudenly in a recent talk. I think they can be both; which they are depends on your attitude. In a Centre like the ELC, attitudes are conservative; change is resisted; disruption is usually seen as a threat.