Business Unusual

Could a MOOC help #FeesMustFall?

As South African students call for fees to fall, Business Unusual considers the options that online education may offer to both increase access and offset the income universities can earn to manage their costs and keep fees stable.

The courses cover hundreds of topics. There is even one offered by Princeton that started today called Making Government Work in Hard Places which might be an option for the Minister of Higher Education to consider.

What a MOOC was supposed to be as described by the man who coined the term, Dave Cormier.

While the ability to scale and charge for access to short or medium courses, the hoped impact of MOOCs has not delivered on all the expectations.

What they are.

  • Generally courses are free
  • Available to anyone with suitable internet access
  • Have assignments and tests
  • Run for a specific time with a pass or fail mark
  • Could offer certification at a fee

What they are not.

  • A replacement for formal tertiary education
  • A better way to get an education than formal class or correspondence
  • The miracle solution to high fee prices and limited class sizes
  • Simply a way to browse educational material

The future is still bright for MOOCs. Certainly, if some of the obstacles can be addressed, a major one is just finishing the course. As they are typically free, many sign up and don't finish.

That may not be a big issue as classes can be tens of thousands strong. Some institutions now offer credits for passing and charging for the accreditation which should see that both the see more finish and begin earning an income stream.

The original idea was for students to be introduced to a community of students that had access to course material but that the learning happened collaboratively through forum discussions instead of standard lectures.

Many of the current MOOC still allow for the community discussion to address student questions but rely more on video lectures and assignments completed by completing tests and submitting work. The volume of scripts would make it crazy for course managers to mark so scripts for written submissions are given to other students to mark. A student is required to mark multiple scripts allowing for a mark to be obtained from the assessment of multiple markers.

While many sign up solely to watch the videos, the course have a start and end date which makes them different to the platforms like TedX, the Khan Academy and the educational channels on YouTube.

Ready to try one yourself?

The best known MOOC options are


This article first appeared on 702 : Could a MOOC help #FeesMustFall?


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
How Instagram captured the moment

How Instagram captured the moment

An app so simple even Steve Jobs would have been proud.

Serving coffee beans to human beings

Serving coffee beans to human beings

How Starbucks grew a coffee shop into a global brand.

Why breaking up is hard to do

Why breaking up is hard to do

Every business aspires to grow, most want to be the market leader. Why do we sometimes want to stop them?

Biohacking - an industry for creating a new, DIY you

Biohacking - an industry for creating a new, DIY you

So much about our lives has changed in the last 300 years but, as a species, we have not evolved.

How to make over R150 billion in just 10 years

How to make over R150 billion in just 10 years

Get yourself some superheroes and watch the cash roll in.

Could the future of Tesla be a repeat of General Motors' past?

Could the future of Tesla be a repeat of General Motors' past?

A comparison of Tesla to that of General Motors a century ago may have some warnings for Elon Musk.

Popular articles
Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Stage 1 load s​hedding has been declared nationally. The City of Cape Town has urged residents to take note of the schedules.

Man who dumped body of family dog in street demoted at top JHB law firm

Man who dumped body of family dog in street demoted at top JHB law firm

Media law guru Emma Sadleir warns employees online that there are many potential events that could bring a company into disrepute.

SPARK Schools provides Singapore-quality education for R19 400 per year

SPARK Schools provides Singapore-quality education for R19 400 per year

Our education system is poor, leading to a proliferation of private schools, most which are unaffordable even for the middleclass.

Get ready for another round of load shedding as Eskom workers shut down power

Get ready for another round of load shedding as Eskom workers shut down power

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says the power utility has instructed municipalities to implement stage one load shedding.

[WATCH] SPCA lays animal cruelty charges following violent attack on seal pup

[WATCH] SPCA lays animal cruelty charges following violent attack on seal pup

Video footage emerged on Facebook showing two fishermen brutally kicking and stabbing the animal.

[LISTEN] Wife of Siya Kolisi 'so proud' as husband Siya leads SA to victory

[LISTEN] Wife of Siya Kolisi 'so proud' as husband Siya leads SA to victory

The Springboks won a Test game against England on Saturday under the captaincy of Siya Kolisi.

UPDATE: Joburg man who dumped dead dog claims there were no vets nearby - SPCA

UPDATE: Joburg man who dumped dead dog claims there were no vets nearby - SPCA

The man has told the Sandton SPCA that he could not locate a nearby veterinary clinic in order to dispose of the dog's carcass.

Eusebius: 'Needing to know what happened before the Supersport video is BS'

Eusebius: 'Needing to know what happened before the Supersport video is BS'

Callers on The Eusebius McKaiser Show stand behind Ashwin Willemse who walked off the Supersport Rugby set on Saturday.