At the end of January, I wrote a blog about what we can learn from MOOCs. Even some of the major MOOC players admit there have been some problems, and they are now using the data to refine the MOOC experience. But I guess a better question is “What is the desired outcome?” I think this an area that is up in the air, and because the purpose of MOOCs seems to be vast and varied, it is difficult to measure. Hence, the ongoing debate of completion rates. Are completion rates a quality indicator of a MOOCs success? I think this is a challenging question. On the one hand, one could say, “Yes!” If students are not completing the course, then engagement is decreasing. On the other hand, one could say, “No!” Perhaps the point of MOOCs isn’t full completion, but anytime, anywhere access to material. I’ve heard many stories of people's experiences MOOCs. Some were content, often when there was true personalization and frequent human interaction. Those that did not enjoy the MOOC experience said they felt lost or were not able to get help and feedback. I think in order to alleviate this divide in the experience, we need to make clear exactly what a MOOC is intended to do and serve. The good news is that this disruption is helping us rethink what education could or might be. MOOCs alone may not be the answer, but perhaps they are helping to create education innovation. What do you think should be the desired outcome of MOOCs and how do we measure that?
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