And another thing…

Just a quick update regarding MOOCs – massive on-line open courses. I was a MOOC early adopter back in 20014, part of the teaching and leaning team handling the 15000 or so participants who had signed up for FutureLearns “Understanding drugs and addiction” (now in its third itteration, also available in Mandarin – click here for details) produced by my former employers, King’s College London. Apart from the mind boggling attrition rates (mabye three quarters never made it past the 1st week of the six week course), those that remained were engaged and very enthusiastic. We had a few folk posting ‘ill-informed’ comments, and it was my job to try an deal with misinformation – a bit like the internet I suppose…

MOOCs are expensive to produce, but do now seem to be generating their own income streams via a ‘moderated’ remote end of course exam, and/or the opportunity the buy vibrant university endorsed certificates of attendance. They always look good on the office door.

In the real world though, MOOCs also offer an opportunity to showcase talent and teaching / research excellence, and this can translate into folk signing up to self funded masters courses, and other accredited on-line masters programmes – and that’s where the real money is.

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