"MOOCs and their global impacts" at International Seminar on “The Future of MOOCs and Digital Library in Japan and the Globe”, February 24, 2013
MOOCsとその大域的影響 MOOCs and their global impacts (slides in English for non-Japanese speaking speakers) 土屋俊 Syun Tutiya 大学評価・学位授与機構 National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation MOOCs と電子図書館のための国際セミナー 2013年2月24日International Seminar on “The Future of MOOCs and Digital Library in Japan and the Globe” February 24, 2013
“Global” in two senses• Global, as opposed to ephemeral – Impacts are not only on multimedia/Internet in education last year, but – on modern(= late 20th century) higher education in general• Global as opposed to US – Impacts on UK – Impacts on Asia etc – Impacts on Japan • Arguments for the impossibility either of J-MOOC or of MOOC.jp – Impacts on the future of Japan’s HE
Plan of the talk1. Looking back last year – Why MOOCs now? – Why in 2012? Why in US?2. Self-undermining principles of modern HE and the end of university – Student consumerism – “Factory” model3. How MOOCs accelerate – Blended learning/Flipped classroom – For-profit universities4. Revenue streams of free services – Commercial sponsorship – Open source – Open access – (Freemium)5. And why the MOOCmania is global – Why UK seems OK – Why Japan does not seem OK
2012 was the MOOC year, so let’s consult Wikipedia(Japanese)!
MOOCs last year• First occurrence of the word: 2008 – now almost a legend or myth referring to U of Prince Edwards Island, Cormier, Athabasca, etc – But this is just a prehistory• Real start: 2011-12 school year – Stanford AI, CS courses on line, each with an enrollment of 100,000, resulting in the creation of Coursera, Udacity, getting money from VCs – MIT and Harvard jointly edX as a non-profit• Booming… – increasing media coverage + stories from teachers and learners from April/May, 2012 – EuroMOOCs like UK’s FutureLearn and Amsterdam’s• Actually, Japan is a lot more advanced with the University of Air, or the Open University of Japan, now. Evidence of the impossibility of MOOCs in Japan?
Why MOOC in 2012?• Virtually nothing is new – technology is boring – Course structure and class management are old- fashioned – Free online lectures have been there for long• So why this year?• US problems with higher education – outcomes -- underachieving – cost – financial burdens of students and families• MOOC is a possibility of sustainable business model of affordable higher educatioin• Adaptation with conventional systems like credits
US situations in spite of US and other overseas participants• Obama’s target setting in his February 2009 address – “All Americans should be prepared to enroll in at least one year of higher education or job training to better prepare our workforce for a 21st century economy.” – Public Universities reponses – has not been achieved but not bad as of 2012, with improved graduation rates and the percentage of 25-34 cohort with college degrees• But the “cost” issue has no hope – For-profits make profit but low success rate – Public Us raise tuition only to make up for the state budget cuts• “Free” is the ultimate form of inexpensiveness
University Strategies to Increase the Number of Graduates• Growth in Enrollment• Restriction of Degree Requirements to 120 hours• Creation of a “Graduation in Four” expectation among students and their parents• Attract those who leave the university with only a small percentage of degree requirements unfilled to complete the degree• Reduce barriers to graduation – Improve Advising – Ensure that courses required for degrees are always available 9
And brands!• Stanford gave birth to two MOOC companies – Coursera – Udacity• MIT is home to Open CourseWare – Now what is the difference between MOOC&OCW?• Both MIT and Harvard are superbrands• Participating universities are “research universities” in the modern American sense• Non-US participating universities, like UCL and maby Todai, are also brands in HE industry• So not only free but good, maybe at least reputably
MOOC was the only hope• In the context of Obama reelection – Reflected in his State of the Union Address • “we’ll run out of money.” • “Some schools redesign courses to help students finish more quickly. Some use better technology.”• And publicly – the California situation, remarkably• And worldwide – the UK reform, e.g. – No longer can HE be dependent on states in the continent, either, and the continent has no money – Poor countries are much poorer• So MOOCs ARE the only hope
But MOOCs will completely change HE industry• The late 20th century model of HE – Qualified, professional workforce needs “education” – Society needs more and more professional workforce – Therefore, more and more “education” is needed, to the prosperity of HE industry, and by the same token, – “Educated” workers are more employable, from the personal point of view – Hence, two justified model of HE1. Student consumerism2. “Factory model”
The Central Dogmas1. Student consumerism a. Students are consumers of HE as sellable service b. Students select like consumers, having their future life in mind, in which sense they are not only consuming but privately investing, c. though there is no need to be loyal, which means in principle they can very liberally pick and choose2. Factory Model a. HE institutions are factories, subsidized by students themselves b. Takes in high school graduates, add value(=increased employability), and send out to labor market c. Efficiency(C/B) is the most important, resulting in for-profits3. “Degree-cum-classroom” system as a locking-in mechanism, currently and everything is efficiently tailored accordingly a. Prepaid b. Degrees as THE results of accumulated “credits,” which are based on (contact) “hours”4. All of which are inherently oxymoronic, which means the current implementation is contingent
Symptoms• Stress on student’s experience(SC) – Students must be “satisfied”• Stress on learning outcomes(FM) – No quality control at the time of admission – Degree only comprehensively guarantees quality but who knows what graduates individually can do• Harmonization of qualifications frameworks, limited to Europe and SE Asia, though – HE is more for employment than for scholarship – Merger of HE and LLL• Tuitions fees, newly installed and/or rising – HE is no longer public goods, but private investment – But if no guarantee of quality, what is it for? – But, again, people think HE, science, technology are the only hope for the future
MOOCs more than symptomize. They canverify the contingency of so hasten the death of “modern university” • Technology-based – “Open” is only possible with the Internet – Educational technology, OCW etc in the past • Vertical disintegration – Platforms, teaching faculty and services can be separate, like publishing • Experiences from For-profits, distance education and multimedia pedagogy – which are abundant – and even SNS(Facebook, Twitter, etc) may help Thus the only hope turns out to be an evil omen
But how can MOOCs be sustainably free?• MOOCs must be free, though are allowed to be licensed for fees in some sense• Four models for “free” provision of information 1. Commercial sponsorship model From radio programs to TV, banner ads on Internet, and to Google- style “Click-throughs” 2. “Open source” software model From FSF/GNU to “Open source/Bazaar,” and to Wiki* 3. Author-pay, “Golden open access” model PLoS ONE, eLife and PeerJ 4. “Freemium” model Free at the start but must buy to proceed in recognition of value
So the questions are:1. Can a MOOC be commercially subsidized? – Is it a large enough user-base?2. Can MOOCs create a market for implementation and maintenance? – Current university campus converted to HE “Kumon” classrooms?3. Can MOOCs be subsidized by TEACHERS? – Future of researchers and “research universities”? But currently starting MOOCs are theirs4. Can MOOCs demonstrate (prospective) values to noncommittal novice learners? – Maybe not, but could do?
Realistically global aspects:• UK mission to India – with FutureLearn, BL, and five universities – FutureLearn – Open University-founded UK MOOC – Indian situation may accommodate them• Todai on Coursera – Better than none, but …• Can there be Japanese MOOCs? – No. Japanese language does not provide a large enough market to a MOOC – No. Japanese universities do not have strong enough brand to attract teachers to their platform creations
Inconclusion, not “in conclusion”• MOOC was just a boom last year• But it’s the reality we face now, and will have to from now on, as noticed by Todai• The continuation of vested interests around the current system and the rise and success of MOOCs are mutually exclusive, so be warned• Japan’s HE is in a very difficult trouble, but not knowing it makes us happier than we would be if we knew it