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An enriching learning process

ARE massive open online courses (MOOC) for real?

 I refer to a call by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh for students of higher learning institutions to use the online learning method to obtain more than one degree.

MOOC was launched by the ministry in September 2014 with more than 60 free online courses offered through www.OpenLearning.com to university students and the public.

It was part of the “Soaring Upwards” programme, which disseminates information on the development of the country’s higher education.
MOOC is one part of the revolution brought by Web 2.0, aimed at increasing demand for higher education, helping universities facing funding cuts, and assisting students struggling to pay tuition fees, overcoming the changing demographics of learners, and enhancing access to the Internet and information technology.

Dave Cormier, of University of Manitoba, introduced the term in 2008 to describe Siemens and Downes “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge” course, which is in line with the concept of flipped classroom. A key innovation in MOOC is networking. This is changing the traditional teaching and learning system as it eliminates hierarchy.

The fact is, MOOC is lacking in face-to-face communication of small university classes as well as interaction between students and professors.

Though replaced by online forums, the massiveness of the courses represents a major obstacle for learners and educators.

No doubt, MOOC enriches the learning process via various channels, but it is not interchangeable with the real campus.

Critics assert that MOOC does not provide quality education as that of traditional universities, encounters assessment problems, and has high dropout and cheating rates.

MOOC presents a facelift for the higher education system, where the main innovation is scaling because the economies of Internet allow for the dissemination of quality education.

Networks are replacing the hierarchy of university education, transforming the role of professor and student so that they become interchangeable.

 Participation and interaction are crucial in defusing hierarchy.

 The challenges facing MOOC include quality, assessment and how the models may be monetised.

AZIZI AHMAD, Kuala Lumpur NST News Opinion You Write 6 OCTOBER 2016 @ 11:01 AM


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The Original Text: Massive Open Online Courses: Is it for real?

Students of higher learning institutions (IPT) should use the online learning method to obtain more than one degree, according to Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh. (Sep, 25).

MOOC was launched by the Higher Education Ministry in September 2014 offering more than 60 courses online for free through www.OpenLearning.com to all university students and the general public thru the Soaring Upwards programme,  an initiative to disseminate information on the development of the country’s higher education including the success achieved at national and international level.

The MOOCs are one part of revolution brought by the Web 2.0 coming at the time of unprecedented globalization, increasing demand for higher education, universities suffering from significant funding cuts, but also students struggling to pay higher tuition fees, economic crisis, changing demographics of the learners and raising access to both internet and personal technology, which goes together with online social networks development

MOOC is an acronym for Massive Open Online Courses characterized by openness, which means that they are available without paying for participation which intertwined with the emergence of online learning, open education and access to information.

Dave Cormier of University of Manitoba first introduced the term MOOCs in 2008, to describe Siemens and Downes “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge” course and goes hand in hand with the emergence of the concept of flipped classroom.

The technical innovations as mobile connectivity, high-quality streaming videos support the shift and allowing the teachers to better adjust their teaching to the needs of the students

Another crucial innovation embodied in the MOOCs is networking. This innovation is turning the traditional teaching and learning systems upside down, because it destroys the hierarchy.

The fact is MOOCs are lacking the face-to-face communication of small university classes as well as the two way interaction between student and professors. Though replaced by different kinds of online forum, the massiveness of the courses represents a major obstacle for them.

The MOOCs are enriching the learning process by communication via different channels and online social networks; but still it is not interchangeable with the real life on campus

MOOCs critics also often emphasize that they are not providing the same quality of higher education as traditional universities, facing assessment problems, high drop-out rates and cheating.

The question of monetization presents also the differences between  whether it is a freemium course
or monetization of the information for potential employers

MOOCs present a facelift of current higher education system, where the main innovation is scaling, because the economies of internet are allowing the dissemination of the top quality education to develop.

MOOCs do not only have an innovative character, but they have also brought the elements the Web 2.0 into tertiary education, in other words, the elements of networking, which are transforming the roles of different actors.

Networks are replacing the hierarchy of university education, transforming the role of the professor and the student so that they are becoming almost interchangeable. The participation and interaction are crucial in defusing hierarchy. There are many challenges facing the MOOCs, among which are questions of quality, assessments and last but not least, of how the models may be monetized. 516

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