Personally, it was interesting to observe how a specific mission of MOOCs, namely - reaching as many people as possible, got presented. The size of the courses was praised and stated as making more sense of community possible. Further, effectiveness played a significant role in the video and categories like “great teaching” were used. What I personally liked was that the speaker conceded that there are types of knowledge that cannot be taught online, and that education is not only about consuming content. Another nice argument was that MOOCs could enable working professionals to stay informed, learn more, or get back in the educational system. Problems Coursera and MOOCs more generally are facing were also addressed, for example the problem of translating content and how to motivate students to complete online courses. The latter is currently achieved by implementing payment for certificates and specific reward structures in assignments. The grand narrative behind the video is to outline the mission and potential of Coursera as enabling a better world through technology, improving lives and establishing equal opportunities, “a shot at the middle class”, for everyone through accessibility to education.
So to wrap it up, it was interesting to see how much thought goes into these new educational technologies and how the developers try to examine the “best ways” for students to learn productively. Nevertheless, even though I am curious about the implications MOOCs carry for the wider scientific enterprise, I am remaining skeptical.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzkwtIMPkrs; accessed 02.05.2017