Will a MOOC still be called a MOOC in 2030?

I was recently invited to a symposium organized by George Siemens. The topic of our meeting was what the higher education landscape will look like in 2030. Now that we’ve passed the MOOC media frenzy we can reflect on how the idea of MOOCs can improve learning experiences, increase access to education and better match the educational process with ever changing employment needs. As George Siemens pointed out, a MOOC is not a thing…the idea of a MOOC will continue to be around under a different name.

For two full days we discussed a wide range of topics: competency based learning, creating cohorts using a similar algorithm as dating services; following learner trajectories like Google or Amazon; next generation textbook; how knowledge is created and shared; the need to understand the architecture of knowledge; the importance of research driving informed change; and how MOOCs have made teaching transparent.

I was struck by the similar challenges universities big and small faced: lack of resources and clear goals and strategy for entering the MOOC market and a lack of trickle down to residential students. Universities are finding themselves unprepared for the new legal questions and processes needed. A great outcome of this event was the opportunity to share, reflect, and build our understanding of the future of higher education together. Rather than working in silos a move toward sharing across universities is needed. How do we innovate and scale up together.

What innovations and impact do you see the idea of MOOCs having at your university?

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