Open or not, that is the question

When online education is open, and a lot of people who has no entrance to good education can profit of this openness, openness is great!

When the private sector is gathering data from the open online course for advertisements among students in exchange for the earnings for some instructional designers, etcetera. It is OK, I think.

If the content is chosen by the private companies who paid for the development of the course, I think it is OK, if it is clear to the students that the private company was behind this. If it is not clear and the advertisement of the course said that everyone will get a job when you follow this course, and the course has is very bad quality, then it is not OK, i think.

If the topics of the MOOCS are only basic information it is OK, i think. A lot of people can learn the basics for no money. Motivated people will be happy.

If the content of the MOOCS is for marketing for the University, I think that is ok.

If the Open Online courses or MOOCS are bad designed. It is not OK, because participants get the wrong idea of what can be an effective online course.

We learned a lot from the failures of the MOOCS, so therefore the MOOCS are OK.

But what means Openness? I wish I could give everyone on earth the education they need for developing themselves at their own pace, level. Openness for education is great.

But Open educations has always costs, like everything else on earth which is produced. Quality of Open education costs even more, if some people made great instructional designs, well educated trainers are scaffolding the learning management systems, and great and well trained teachers are directing and motivating learners through the course, technical support is always available. .. that costs a lot of money. But so what? Money is not dirty. Money is something for trading. Great business models can be constructed to realize cooperation between private companies and education.

Like AirBNB. There could be a platform for open online courses with a lot of reviews, datamining in the background, online & synchronous sessions and quality trackers, with people who are offering their own courses, groups of instructional designing who collaborate  and offering courses, Universities who are delivering courses etc.

Quality, effectiveness could be measured, even as edutainment value, course completion etcetera.

The structure of education has to be changed. Education must be open for students and non-students, for educators and non-educators. Common values, goals and technology will guide us.

Open or not, that is no question. It has to be. We need it and the economy needs it.


Francisca Frenks



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