I was in Germany last week presenting a paper in a conference and found that a majority of parallel papers were reviews and case studies on MOOCs.
It is personally for me an interesting revelation that institutions and educationists are actively pursuing the MOOC movement, from building in-house Moodle and Coursera courses to investigating the naturally high mortality/ attrition rate of MOOCs.
I have not much to add to the discussion other than as an online learner myself, I find my experiences with MOOCs thus far quite satisfying as a learning platform of new knowledge. I have learnt how to do R Programming and create apps with Xcode through MOOCs, with its strongest attribute being the social support from teachers and colleagues. I also find MOOCs enriching with regards to expanding one’s schematic understanding of the surrounding world. My most recent exploits being Dyslexia from FutureLearn.
Perhaps having done MOOCs for close to ten years have made the attraction of the process gradually waning as I trawled through at most times repetitive online learning pedagogies to drag me to the finish line. I have to admit, my dropping out of courses increases with time. Generally however, MOOCs are productive avenues for the casual learner to gain some new knowledge and at the same time perhaps qualifications which we hope in the near future are given the accreditation that it deserves.
For those who are interested in expanding their knowledge I recommend the courses on Coursera, FutureLearn to start with. Then there is Lynda.com, the MIT free courses and the non credit bearing courses provided by universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard through their extension or open online campus. I would also like to suggest joining the online community at www.degreeinfo.com where I have been a member for many years.