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Thanks for this post Martin, the mooc is dead long live the MOOC. I got an email from Sebastian this morning telling me about the "whole new course experience" designed "to make sure you succeed", this is "personalised education, tailored to your goals for learning with us and optimized to get you the tech career you want".

He also thanks me for being "Udacious" (awesome!) and that I don't need to worry as all their courseware remains available for free - even the quizzes . . .


Will Woods

"....the world ends not with a bang, but a whimper." ...or in this case flatulence.

This comes back to researching your market, and also that MOOCs are not revolutionary but rather complimentary element of distance education, alongside supported open learning.

Does this mean that I can cash in my MOOC swear box yet? - It's getting quite full now.


Great stuff. I went back to the Shirky article when this all came out (he wrote his treatise just over a year to the day of the Udacity announcement), and I'm interested to see how he moves forward in the wake of this argument. If the dominant narrative about universities is Ivy League and elite, and MOOCs were going to change those on the bottom of the pyramid, is 2+ years of hyperbole akin to pyramid erosion? This is not the death of MOOCs or universities, but the narrative has shifted further towards private enterprise, private money, private good...and there has been no benefit to anyone (save Anderssen Horrowitz)


I thought that (vomit-inducing) Thrun interview was a spoof when I first read it! Oh the irony of this ... I also got my email from Udacity, niftily downgrading their courses to courseware aka a textbook. (Although I am quite enjoying my Udacity Statistics Course).

Thinking about MOOCs as part of the OER continuum, would they then be the non-thinking person's OER - less open (can't re-use/remix) but already nicely packaged and ready to go?


@Sheila - yes I got the same email. When I saw an email from Thrun in my inbox I thought he had been tracking my twitter conversation.

@Will - still plenty of use for the M**C box yet

@Rolin - it was a neat idea to go back to the original Shirky article. I liked your blog post very much (if others haven't read it: http://allmoocs.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/udacity-shifting-models-means-never-having-to-say-youre-sorry/ )

@Sukaina - ha, yes I know what you mean about a spoof. Thrun has become his own self parody. I wouldn't diminish MOOCs as non-thinking person's OER, they just meet a different need. Sometimes it's really useful to have stuff packaged by an expert and to study with a cohort.


It's interesting seeing the different perspectives on this.

I've bored enough people in the past with my views on how MOOCs are not the future threat to HE. However, I don't see Thrun's change of view so much as a climb down as a move closer to the model that will be a threat to at least part of HE. That part being the part time sector.

Affordable, relevant and on-demand courses, fully utilising the ubiquity of 'tech', will be a threat. '"An Introduction to Horse Dentistry" a seven week course starting next March' was never going to be a threat.

Yes, a variation on MOOCs will be a useful adjunct to existing HE delivery. But they are not 'disruptive innovation' (again, interesting to see the phrase used in the pejorative).

But that disruption is coming. I'd like the OU to lead it rather than fall victim to it.


I enjoyed your response to the Thrun profile.
Please read an insightful response by Idit Harel Caperton:

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