Bernard Bull writes a consistently interesting blog on a variety of topics related to education. In his latest edition, he describes himself as “An academic who cheers for badges and the demonopolization of higher education”. Once I got past my initial reading of his topic as relating to the prevalence of demons in higher education (a point with which I would certainly have agreed),I find myself largely in agreement with his pleas for a wider evaluation of educational achievement.
So just what are MOOCs, anyway, and why should we care? Aren’t they just hype, or worse – a gimmick dreamed up by the for-profit sector to flimflam the non-elites? There’s certainly an element of marketing gee-whiz. The first MOOCs were largely show-off technology, but also partly marketing devices used by their universities to publicize special areas of expertise.