Can MOOCs “end”?

In response to:

Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching

“Microeconomics for Managers,”(MM) a MOOC offered by the University of California at Irvine through Coursera. Mr. McKenzie’s departure marks the second debacle for Coursera this month. Another of the company’s courses, “Fundamentals of Online Education,” (FOE) was suspended indefinitely after technical and design issues made it too dysfunctional to continue. That course has not restarted.


FYI, a little inside trivia on this topic. I was/am involved in FOE, and have been keeping a leg in the MM student online discussions. I find it absolutely amazing (not necessarily in a good way), that instructors continue to assume that they are prepared for the teaching-learning culture of MOOCs. In both cases, FOE and MM, the instructors failed to realize that their professional experience (although extensive) is not sufficient to be able to handle a MOOC. In any case, the article is not totally accurate… FOE never “ended”… the instructor quit, yes. But the MOOC continues even as I type… what traditional academics do not realize is – once started, MOOCs have a life of their own.


One thought on “Can MOOCs “end”?

  1. This comment was copy-pasted from a message received through private email:

    “very interesting issues—faculty development (really, also, institutional development, so to speak) for MOOC’s, when they’re so knew. Lifespan issue you mentioned is also interesting. In some cases they could just be disabled, depending upon the tools used, and, of course, removing the awarding of credit (and/or institutional support) would remove incentive for some students to keep with it. Otherwise, what’s left in an instructor-“abandoned” MOOC would just be a self-defining learning community, for better or for worse (or virtual space debris :)), but that’s OK. One more open learning example. ”

    My response to this response:
    I love this observation – “virtual space debris” – short form would be “VD”… how apt/ironic that would be…. LOL!

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