Key takeaways from this lesson are:
- MOOCs are forcing every higher education institution to think carefully both about its strategy for online teaching and its approach to open education.
- MOOCs are not the only form of online learning or open educational resources (OERs). It is important to look at the strengths and weaknesses of MOOCs within the overall context of online learning and openness.
- There are considerable differences in the design of MOOCs, reflecting different purposes and philosophies.
- There are currently major structural limitations in MOOCs for developing deep or transformative learning, or for developing the high-level knowledge and skills needed in the digital age.
- MOOCs are still at a relatively early stage of maturity. As their strengths and weaknesses become clearer, and as experience in improving their design grows, they are likely to occupy a significant niche within the higher education learning environment.
- MOOCs could well replace some forms of traditional teaching (such as large lecture classes). However, MOOCs are more likely to remain as an important supplement or alternative to other conventional education methods. They are on their own not a solution to the high cost of higher education, although MOOCs will continue to be an important factor in forcing change.
- Perhaps the greatest value of MOOCs in the future will be for providing a means for tackling large global problems through community action.