There’s already a lot written about Massive Open Online Courses – probably too much.
But here are two recent pieces that raise interesting ideas as to where this is all headed:
- Let Them Eat MOOCs by Gianpiero Petriglieri that suggests MOOCs are very similar to the processes of colonialism; and
- A Star MOOC Professor Defects—at Least for Now by Marc Parry – that raises issues of licencing and franchising of courses.
Law Schools and MOOCs are not a good fit if one sees law schools in the traditional sense of small elite schools in a university, defined by the difficulty of admission. But given the very high number of law schools, an apparently shrinking job market, and the possibility of issues of student recruitment for more regional law schools, MOOCs based on first year courses might be seen to be way of attracting students – particularly from overseas.
But as Petrigilieri argues:
the [MOOC] colonizer is a transactional view of education, centered on knowledge as a commodity, which displaces a relational view of education, centered on developing through relationships.
MOOCs appear inimical to the development of a sense of professional responsibility and the entry into a supportive community of learning. They might however be important devices for empowering the community. Perry’s piece suggests such altruistic community empowerment might not be the future driven by the commercial interests behind MOOCs.
By Alex Steel