Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Could Coursera be peaking?

I have to say that I think MOOCs are great.  I love their simplicity, their scale and the potential flexibility in how they can be used.  I admire what Coursera have done and probably like many would be thrilled if our little institute was asked to join them.  Well that's not gonna happen!  So it gives us the impression that Coursera is exclusive.  Combine that with their closed approach to content ownership and many people's reservations about their monetisation of user data and it does leave you with a feeling of discomfort.  Could that be a problem for them?  It is significant to note that Stanford, the birthplace of Coursera, has decided to join EdX, a much more open initiative. (or is it the other way round?).  If the more prestigious institutions become worried about involvement with an overtly commercial MOOC company, perhaps they may be more comfortable with more open solutions which will both allow them to reach large numbers and clearly maintain their public service credentials.  Like Apple and the mp3 player, Coursera may have made the existing idea of MOOCs mainstream, but somewhat like Android, it may be overtaken now by a more open model.