Do you really know what online learning is all about in Higher Ed? How it evolved, what it was, what it is…that was then, this is now to borrow from a popular title from my early learning. Most administrators and boards do not know the game they seek to get in or understand that they may have an institutional dinosaur on their hands on the brink of extinction.
When the MOOC rave first started, like most I was curious…so, I registered, logged in, and skimmed a course or two. After all, it was free so there was no harm done, but due to my hectic schedule I could never really engaged. So, once I reviewed and gathered enough information to speak intelligently on the subject, that was essentially enough for me, because I had no skin in the game, there was not a loss to me. Likewise, I already held degrees (bachelors and masters) from two reputable and well endowed unversities’ so there was truly no value added, at least for me. For all practical purposes, in my opinion, the first MOOCS such as Coursera and Udacity, were providing content for those who were essentially already educated and learned. Which, is fine and dandy, but was not necessarily where the access to education was needed.
So, I was really excited when Instructure announced their MOOC platform for Canvas. The service and courses that are being provided provide access to a diverse population in a variety of subject areas. I enrolled in two courses, both for personal growth and exposure, but the subjects are practical, intriguing, and useful. I will be able to use the course information to improve in some respects, the manner in which I work. So though the cost was the same, I do at least earn a badge, and more improtantly I gain valuable knowledge that will hopefully benefit the students that I serve.
Once it is all said and done, what we learn from these endeavors will be invaluable. The traditional Institutions of Higher Education are the sleeping giants who have awakened to find that the world around them has metamorphosized and evolved into an environment that no longer conforms to the paradigm of the past. Of course, I am not expressing anything new to many, Mo’ Bettah Blues…No Way…Mo’ Bettah World.