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déjà vu ?
Digital Diploma Mills:
The Automation of
Higher Education (New
York: Monthly Review
“Promoters of instructional technology
and ‘distance learning’ advanced with
ideological bravado as well as
institutional power…. They had merely
to proclaim ‘it’s the future’ to throw
skeptics on the defensive and
convince seasoned educators that
they belonged in the dustbin of
history…..and sound bites about the
imminent demise of the ‘sage on the
stage’ and ‘bricks and mortar
So what did we learn ?
(Presentation within a
The majority of staff responding to a 2009 survey believed
that the process of creating a course was becoming more
• 50% believed that it was becoming harder for them to
understand how all the parts of planned learning & teaching
fit together and almost 75% agreed that there was a need
for clearer methods of representing the structure and key
components of a course.
• There was strong belief in the educational potential of ICT
(87%) but confidence that this potential would be realised
was weaker (50%)
Cross, S., Clark, P. and Brasher, A. (2009). Survey of staff perceptions, practice and attitudes
of learning design. Available http://oro.open.ac.uk/32037/
to learn something is to be able to convert information stored in
the expanding external symbolic storages of our social memory into
something that is new, interesting and consequential for
a practice or an issue.
The implications of such a metaphorical construction of learning
will have to be worked out within the educational system and its
instructional practices. It does not follow from a mere
introduction of new technologies.
Completion Rates Headlines!
Do enrollment numbers relate to completers?
Yes - the more people who enrol then the lower the
percentage who complete.
Activity Important! – well there is a significant
negative correlation between number of active
users and the percentage who complete
University reputation has no effect on
Does the course length have an impact
The longer your course, the lower the
percentage who see it through.
Certification/ Prior Learning Headlines!
5% of all registrants earned a certificate of
35% never viewed any of the course materials.
54% of those who “explored” at least half of the
course content earned a certificate of
66% of all registrants already held a bachelor’s
degree or higher.
74% of those who earned a certificate of
completion held a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Harvard & MITx: 1st Year of Open On Online Courses (2014)
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Csikszentmihalyi (1990)
Coursera Partner Institutions: $50k to run/ produce a MOOC
Mid 2012: VC Funding round for Coursera = $22 million
Mid 2013: Further Funding round for Coursera = $40 million
General rule: Don’t dilute shares unless you need the money
Coursera’s Burn Rate: $1.5 - $2million/ month
Signature Track: Single Revenue stream = $1million in 1st ¾ of 2013
Expenditure: $1.5 - $2million/ month
Income: $100k per month.
…and Sebastian Thrun Did
“not many people complete MOOCs, and making them pay is
a good incentiviser, so he's making Udacity an elearning corporate
Where do MOOCs take us ?
from the interaction
Have we reinvented the Wheel?
A shift from the class seen as an event; to the class seen as a designed (and
somewhat replicable) learning environment.
It subverts traditional models of labour, and has the potential to radically change
what we mean by education.
Learning and Performance Support Systems
A new $19 million 5-year initiative at the National Research Council lead by
Learning as a Cloud Service – will create a distributed learning layer, which is a
mechanism for working with data no matter where it is stored, through desktop,
mobile and other devices.
Resource Repository Network – will create a resource graph of learning/training
resources data from multiple sources and multiple formats including live and
dynamic data such as workplace data, plant instrumentation, or market
Personal Learning Record – will define how we represent, capture, and leverage
user activity, including ratings, test results, performance measures, and the like, in
a distributed learning and work environment.
Automated Competence Development and Recognition – whereas existing
recommender systems depend on manually defined metrics and taxonomies, this
system will detect new and emerging competences and automatically assess
Personal Learning Assistant – will develop an integrated learning appliance, a
mechanism for looking up or finding references or resources inside other programs