MOOCs – the battle lines are being drawn

MOOCs are hitting the HE news, and flooding my Twitter stream again.

Inevitably there are two camps – the pros and the antis.

A quick summary – US universities working with Udacity, Coursera and others have already entered the MOOC arena. Until recently statements were being made about major investors not knowing who to go to in the UK to do the same. It’s still expected to be big though.

This has now been dealt with, with the formation of FutureLearn, where Elite institutions will team up with the Open University to offer free internet courses to rival US programmes Coursera and edX.

Now the arguments can start – what is the benefit of engaging with MOOCs?

What is the likely income stream or financial model for universities?

Is this development going to bring to an end University education as we know it?

On the one side we have Clay Shirky – who prophesies that this is the Napster moment for universities.

Rebutting him are the likes of David Kerohan and Patrick McGhee