A bigger picture on MOOCs

I was pointed to the above info graphic and asked for a brief review, so I am happy to share my thoughts. It starts with a well-known transformation in higher ed, the rise of the (tuition) costs worldwide, but in particular in the U.S. This initial position is then boiled down to mere economical factors which are like this: You have to pay a certain amount of money to attend a prestigious college and after graduation you will (like an automatism) be given a job that refinances all your investments. And this equation is not „true“ any longer? And is there really a solution coming our way that is called MOOC?

I am not an economist, so I can not properly talk about financial aspects. However, since MOOC is invoked I think it is important to stress some educational aspects. It is a pity that in this graphic MOOCs are only referred to as the Coursera platform and not as an educational movement that has a much larger and broader history than the media hype tries to claim. It is based on some fundamental assumptions and beliefs (education for all, education as a common goods) which roots in the philosophy of Rousseau and Froebel. For a more detailed account on that see here.

This idealist philosophical positions are undermined when, as this graphic does, MOOCs are used to promote an economical perspective on education („elite schools“) that neglects the core educational beliefs (e.g. self-realization of the person). So, perhaps there is any chance to include more educational thinking in this graphic.

Tomorrow's College Infographic Infographic

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