MOOCs and teaching: does anyone really know what they are talking about

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The flash over MOOCs seems to be ebbing away. Perhaps it is because it costs so much to produce a good one and there is no clear return on that investment.

Coursera Launches An Online Vocational Mini-Credential Taught By Top Colleges Now this looks interesting. I checked out the "mini-specialization" dealing with virtual education and thought that this kind of set-up has some promise, but, as with everything in higher ed, so much depends on the abilities of the instructors.

James Grimmelmann, MOOCs: Over Already? This strain of thought has been echoed elsewhere:

The problem is production costs for video. It is simply not that easy to prepare and shoot great quality video. Another issues is distance education. There is an entirely different dynamic associated with online education, and most people, who have not been involved with it, do not understand. Actually, a whole lot of people do not understand the entire education process. One student can listen to a five-minute explanation of how to do a problem and correctly do the problem. Another student might take days to figure it out. Yet another student might have to read how to do the problem before being able to do the problem. They will all get the problem done, but at different paces and in different ways. You really can't rush that much.

See my latest post with my thoughts on MOOCs after completing three MOOCs. I was surprised to learn that one of the MOOC courses that I completed had a completion rate (success rate) of 12%, which is perhaps high for a MOOC. I have no idea what the future is for these, but I think that there is perhaps a niche for them in higher education. In other words, some students will be able to learn that way, but credentialing and assessment remain problematic issues right now.