Another topic that have been on the debate the past years and that relates to open access are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s). Some authors argue that MOOC’s can change the way education has been conceived because it provides access to the best education in the world for free. Some other authors don’t agree with that, their position is that MOOC’s effectiveness hasn’t been proved and that those courses are not having a significant impact in the long term in education.
My particular opinion is that both sides are right. I don’t necessarily think that MOOC’s will change education, however I do think that they may be an excellent complement to education. I have learned a lot from MOOC’s, I have completed courses on game theory and photography just for fun. I think the quality of the education I received was outstanding.
Independent of what you think about MOOC’s I invite you all to see Daphne Koller’s TedTalk about online education. She is one of the founders of Coursera and provides very interesting insights about the information that they have been able to obtain with millions of people taking their courses.
I think is really interesting how they use the information of the courses to improve teaching on those topics. For example having 100,000 students can give you very powerful data. In a 25 students course if two students make a mistake in one test question it is not a big deal and probably the instructor won’t do anything about it, however if 2,000 students make the same mistake that is a powerful message that something may be wrong with the instructor and a revision of the way the topic is being taught is necessary.