MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have exploded over the past year, arousing a great deal of interest. Seen as a larger disruption in higher education, MOOCs have their champions and their foes. Questions about MOOCs include issues such as structure and lecture design, assessment, completion rates and effectiveness, as well as wider issues of academic credibility, competition for conventional students, and certification.
How do MOOCs fit into the future of online education? Is an online MBA on the horizon? In the latest issue of the Journal of Management Education, Editor Jon Billsberry examines the MOOC phenomenon in his editorial, “MOOCs: Fad or Revolution?”:
Over the past 12 months, MOOCs have arrived like an alien invasion threatening to overturn centuries of tradition in education. And just like a scene from Mars Attacks! there are supporters waving “Welcome to Earth” banners while others are lining up the tanks. Yet there is one strange feature of MOOCs, despite the cacophony in the corridors and at conferences; there has been silence in the academic journals. This is simply because data are scarce and only just becoming available, and the necessary time required for thinking, writing, reviewing, and production.
Next year, and probably for several years after, MOOCs are likely to dominate the pages of education journals and the Journal of Management Education in particular. In this editorial, I want to explore the initial hype and hyperbole about MOOCs as a way of setting the scene for the future.
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