If you want to learn more about Sir John´s research orientation and previous speaking engagements on the issue of MOOCs, then this is a good place to start. The review written by Tony Bates in 2012, it refers to this particular article: Daniel, J. (2012) Making sense of MOOCs: Musings in a maze of myth, paradox and possibility.
Sir John will be touching on these issues, among many others, in his keynote at WLS 2017 together with Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić.
Here are some points — derived directly from Tony Bates´blog post — and please note that there is an interesting section of comments below the full article, so please go to the original blog post and also download the full paper on the link above :
- The real revolution is that universities with scarcity at the heart of their business models are embracing openness
- The competition inherent in the gadarene rush to offer MOOCs will create a sea change by obliging participating institutions to revisit their missions and focus on teaching quality and students as never before.
- It could also create a welcome deflationary trend in the costs of higher education.
- We would not expect the current extensive commentary on xMOOCs in the US to consider events before the dotcom frenzy of 1999-2000, still less earlier developments outside North America such as the many open universities around the world. It is surprising, however, that little reference is made to the unhappy experience of some elite US schools with online learning in the mid-2000s.
- A first myth is that university brand is a surrogate for teaching quality. It isn’t. The so-called elite universities that are rushing into xMOOCs gained their reputations in research. Nothing suggests that they are particularly talented in teaching, especially teaching online.
- Because xMOOCs universities measure their institutional standing by the numbers who fail to gain admission to their campuses, they will be cavalier about high wastage and failure rates. This has been called the Passchendaele approach, after the World War I battle in which tens of thousands of soldiers were thrown at the front and died fighting for a few metres of land.
- What decides whether or not a student can obtain a degree is determined not by their mastery of the courses, but by the admissions process to the university. This is an untenable nonsense.
- Placing their xMOOCs in the public domain for a worldwide audience will oblige institutions to do more than pay lip service to importance of teaching and put it at the core their missions. This is the real revolution of MOOCs.