The Education Revolution: Massive Open Online Courses

BBC The Documentary:


A brief overview of MOOCs, with some of their advantages and disadvantages.

Some points covered by the programme:

  • How much of a university is down to bricks and mortar, and how much could it be transferred to an online version?
  • Stephen Greenblatt and Shakespeare and his small seminar groups – can it be re-created online?
  • On the MOOC: 10 minute videos, articles to read, multiple choice quiz, online discussion boards – but how accessible are the tutors?
  • Who are the participants – disadvantaged from developing countries, or are they already graduates from the first world?
  • Use Google Hangouts to have more interactivity?
  • Is an online course as good as a traditional one? Or is it just a cost cutting measure? University of Maryland?
  • Lecturers in Community Colleges become little more than glorified teaching assistants – replaced by MOOCs?
  • Is it good for education to have everyone learning the same course?
  • Are MOOCs universally a good thing? See the open letter from San Jose State U.
  • Typically dropout rates – 90%. Who marks the essays? Peer review? Computer graded?
  • What is the future for MOOCs?
  • Udacity – MOOCs and Business – short courses teaching short skills.
  • Project based rather than exams.
  • Prof Peter Bol – Should we be ‘the last man standing’, or do we need to look for the future?
  • Rich kids get taught by computers, while poor kids get taught by computers.
  • Not the same as learning with people on campus.
  • Sebastian Thrun