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Massive open online courses – the future of MOOC

Massive open online courses – the future of MOOCThe history of MOOC is very short. It has not even passed a decade since the first course was launched at the Manitoba University. We are still in the pioneer-eraFramtiden för MOOC – Massive open online courses when everything is possible. Since a MOOC-course need to be so much more than a traditional course that is delivered online. The basic perspective should be to think how the student in the best way possible interacts with the course-material and other course-participants.

Medieval autonomous education

However, there are many educational movements with the same driving-forces as MOOC-movement during the history. In order to outline possible future roads of progress educational movements from the past will be analysed.

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In the medieval age during the early studies of studium particulare the master and the student met on an individual autonomous level where the learning had no regulation or examination. The only proof the student received that he had participated in the course was a certificate from the master. This has significant similarities with a MOOC. However, the recent progress has led to that some courses are offering the opportunity to examination if the student pays a fee.

Bell-Lancaster-method

The Bell-Lancaster-method that was born during the beginning of 1900th Century was based on that a student ought to be an effective teacher to its fellow-students. From this basis hundreds of students could attend to every course with only one master-teacher. In this context this master-teacher was the instruction-book and quality trademark. In other words the master was the one who delivered the qualitative knowledge, while the true understanding was achieved by communication between the students. This description corresponds well with a modern MOOC. However, for a MOOC often hundred-thousands are registered on the course. Most of the content can also be used whenever and wherever the student want since it is delivered online.

Knowledge delivery and understanding

Nevertheless the Bell-Lancaster-method was not used for a particularly long time. It was developed foremost in order for poor people to be able to receive a good education from a master with a good reputation. As a matter of fact the driving-forces are very similar between the use of the Bell-Lancaster-method and a MOOC.

A MOOC is free of charge and is open to all independently of study-background and geographical residence. At the same time it gives the opportunity to participate in organised studies with lectures from the best universities in the world. Where people around the world coming together with a shared interest around the world for studies. Understanding will in this context mainly grow in cooperation with the other students and computer exercises. With this background there are great prospects that MOOC could be the first staggering steps for a global adult education movement.

Transformation of education

Very interesting in this context is that the Bell-Lancaster-method was established in the beginning of the 1900th Century, which was a time with major changes of the educational system in most countries. We are now in a new era with significant transformation where the technical driving-force is the computer-technology while pedagogical development is driven by the latest discoveries in neuroscience, which make education interactive. Then, in the beginning of the 1900th Century the driving-forces was the printing-press final breakthrough and a generally more active approach to learning as well as the establishment of a school for all people. The industrial society that at that time was taking its first steps is now being replaced with a knowledge society in which the MOOC-movement can become an important force. With the motto: Learning for all on the highest level.

Written by
LarsGöran Boström©

 

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