Friday, 18 October 2013

Notes from HE Expo at Olympia

I recently attended the Higher Education Expo 2013 at Olympia. This type of event is wonderful as it gives you a heads up across the whole sector and you appreciate how your role fits into wider discussions, such as trends on part time and mature students, procurement or transnational higher education.

A topic which does map nicely to the Elevate Team work was around MOOCs. This was led by Guy Mallison, Director of Strategy at the Open University. This is important as we have a watching brief on MOOC development.

Guy focussed on two questions;

1. Why MOOCs are a big deal?
2. What is happening with Futurelearn in the UK?

A strong theme was the idea of current MOOCs not being a polished product, and he applied the concept of disruption innovation paradigm shift. For more info, a good starting point is http://hethoughts.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/disruptive-innovation-of-paradigm-shift/

So are MOOCs the solution for key problems? Evidence from the US highlights increasing costs of education have outstripped inflation, and student loan debt is now the largest form of debt outside mortgages. so, might be viable as an alternative for certain students. Remember, compared to existing model, lower cost, online (no moving etc.,). This will influence the demand.

Four key developments in the future for MOOCs

1. Establishment of proven business models
2. Consolidation of providers and models (maturing)
3. Adoption / mainstreaming with Higher Education which integrates with other changes, ie., flipped classroom
4. Increase in online and blended education

Questions >> Attainment ... Recognise cohort characteristics are different for those signing up for MOOCs. So should we use the same attainment measures? Should it be simple completion? 

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