Some weeks ago I presented a scoop about MOOC participants. It stated that
Old, qualified people seeking further qualifications are the ones attending #MOOC
This fact was supported by studies before, but now there’s a new study. Does digital competence and occupational setting influence MOOC participation? Evidence from a cross-course survey from the Journal of Computing in Higher Education finds
- a medium age of MOOC participants of 43 years
- a percentage of 81 of MOOC participants with tertiary education
- high digital competence of MOOC participants
- up to 6 participation in MOOCs and 4 completion of MOOCs by current MOOC participants
Accordingly, the study concludes that
MOOCs were a well-accepted alternative for unemployed people with a higher educational level and those workers who did not received support for professional development
You know I completely agree to that. In the Western World, MOOCs serve primarly as a continued higher education tool for those people having time and/or additional interests. This may also be one of the reasons for the famous high drop-out rates of 90%. Drop-outs may be adults just wanting some snippets of a topic or just checking out if they’re really interested.
But it makes me wondering if the ongoing hype around MOOCs really leads to the propagandized free education for everyone (having a fast enough internet access). Some sources say yes- like the Harvard Business Review which sent a survey to 780,000 people, from 212 countries and territories, thereby finding that those with low status report more benefits form their MOOC education.
It remains open why in OECD countries the numbers are different- is it a thing of perception?
But for me it still remains mainly a hype about a new technology one has to host (too), a new tool one has to play around with (too), a new way of marketing one has to apply (too). Otherwise it seems hard to explain why more and more MOOC platforms appear, at least in Europe with mooin, imooc, and many many more.
Another aspect is propagated by the European Union. The EU is supporting the EMMA project, the European Multiple MOOC Aggregator Platform. Their aim is to
provide a system for the delivery of free, open, online courses in multiple languages from different European universities to help preserve Europe’s rich cultural, educational and linguistic heritage and to promote real cross-cultural and multi-lingual learning
They offer MOOCs from 11 different universities in multiple languages, so you can learn about gamification in Italian, or Internet Search in English thought a Spanish university.
To me this looks quiet European: A lot of effort to keep this structure called EU together by trying to enable cultural exchange. But who the heck wants to learn gamification in Italian?
But wait…. They also offer very short MOOCs where distinguished personalities speak about topics of general relevance. Like David Weinberger about The Networking of Knowledge. So I have to stop here. Old, qualified me needs to attend another MOOC……