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Nice post, Martin - I like the Olympics analogy. Any chance of you republishing this as a blog on OER Research Hub?


I'm a big fan of OpenLearn as I can dip in and out as I please. I just hope it doesn't get dropped :(

I also can see the many benefits of MOOCs and after dropping out of a few Coursera ones due to technical glitches (I have a short attention span and hate waiting), am really excited to start my first FuruteLearn one in October on ecosystems :)

Free education can't be a bad thing when it does so much for a person's personal development and confidence, and widens their knowledge base.


Rob - will do
Sam - agree, MOOCs and OERs are doing slightly different things, both valid. There are no plans to drop OpenLearn at all, it's a major channel for the OU and integrated into standard working practice


Very interesting post and congratulations on the launching of FL.
I think MOOCs are appealing to HEIs because of the marketing possibilities they provide. And to be fair I think that's not bad because I think unis should b more open about the kind of content they offer and the people that teach them. As a potential student I want to know more about the place where I'll be studying... Spending some years of my life. My fear about MOOCs has been about the bad name they can potentially be because as an online learning experience, it can be a rather daunting and overwhelming one, so I think it's important to market it as a way of sampling what an institution has to offer.

Just a final comment, if MOOCs are the new OERs-and I do agree with it -why are we calling them MOOCs? Perhaps it is the new marketing language...?


Martin, while the "end of universities as we know them" and "all education will be this way one day" rhetoric can be a little wearing, I'm not sure it can be dismissed completely. A key factor in this regard, I think, is the public finance of higher education (or lack thereof) and commercial players riding in on a white charger to save the day. There is also a chance that the private equity backed MOOCs will get their act together pedagogically speaking, and offer something to students and employers of real value that is competitively priced. Thoughts?


Great post. I expecially like you assessment of the "end of universities as we know them" hype ... very well measured and realistic. Well done on getting FL launched. It's impressive.


@Cristina - hi! I wasn't trying to say MOOCs _are_ OERs, I think it's ok to have a different name, but just that they will fulfill a similar role, which is significant, but not as revolutionary as some portray.

@Jeremy - I think there may be something around the employer related MOOCs, but I'm not convinced this will end up being in competition with formal HE. I think we're looking at a richer mix of learning opportunities (I have a tortuous analogy coming up in a blog post on this), but they are not mutually exclusive.

@Nat - thanks, be interesting to see how people find FL both in terms of platform and content

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