Professor Neil Morris discusses the importance of MOOCS
Professor Morris' article entitled "Don’t Dismiss MOOCs—We Are Just Starting to Understand Their True Value", opens by discussing the recent groiwth in massive open online courses (MOOCS) in recent years.
There has been much debate about whether the idea of running free online courses for everyone is both good and cost-effective in the long-term. Regardless of this. MOOCS are teaching universities valuable leasons about how students want to learn.
In light of a recent claim that "free online courses that require no prior qualifications or fee are a wonderful idea but are not viable", Professor Morris urges that MOOCS should not be dismissed as "an expensive and unsuccessful experiment." As someone who manages and leads the MOOC project at the university, Professor Morris has witnessed how these courses are enriching people's lives and "provoking real transformations in the way we think about learning and teaching on our campuses".
Continuing on Professor Morris highlights that whilst the initial investment in designing, creating and delivering online courses is considerable, the "learning materials live on" and can be "repurposed, published and reused in multiple contexts after the course has finished".
Academics are "increasingly recognising the potential for digital approaches to support learning, increase flexibility, and access to a range of multimedia and interactive materials, and encourage active student engagement". MOOCS "offer students the opportunity to interact with and question world-leading authorities in their subject, at the same time as learning with their course leaders and peers in on-campus lectures, seminars, tutorials, and workshops". We are also witnessing their increased use in secondary schools alongside the classroom curriculum.