Some thoughts on “The Future Shape of Education?”

Madeleine McGrath, at The Tom Peters Weblog, makes some interesting comments about The Future Shape of Education?.

She says that:

I’m finding the MOOC learning process much more engaging than I had expected. There is sufficient assessment, albeit of a fairly mechanical level, to help me consolidate my learning. I feel that I’ve picked up something useful that I can apply in my work. I haven’t ventured far into the community forum of the course, as hacking my way through thousands of posted comments doesn’t feel like a productive use of my time. Maybe next time.

I am in strong agreement with this assessment. See my previous post at Some thoughts about online course providers (#coursera, #edx, #acm). (I did not address the assessment there.)

She concludes with:

These early manifestations of open courses are an indication of a shift in the balance of power away from educators being in control to learners taking control of their own personal development. I see these open courses a bit like a smorgasbord of educational offerings. They offer a whole new menu of exciting courses for students who want the scope to pick and choose what they spend their time learning. Life-long learning becomes a viable option for people with the resolve to do the work and access to a decent broadband service!

I have since dropped out of the CS169.1x: Software as a Service course because I had already done the Coursera version (
Software Engineering for SaaS) which is no longer offered by Coursera. I was prepared to repeat it if anyone else at work wanted to do the edX version, but there were no takers because of the expected workload commitment of about 12 hours per week.

Even after my experience with Coursera and edX, I have recommenced my course at Open Universities Australia because the class size is much smaller (under a hundred). I remember the forums to be much less busy from the last time about two (2) years ago. The study commitment is much more than the other online courses, and, of course, it costs real money.

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