University 2.0: MOOCs and the future of higher education

The Computing Education Research Group invites you to a seminar by Jon McCormack, discussing Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOCs) and their potential impact on the global university sector. Please come along and take part in what is sure to be a thought-provoking seminar.

Date: Friday 16th November
Time: 11:00am
Location: Monash University Caulfield H7.84 (Seminar Room), also streamed to Clayton 26/135 (Seminar Room)

2012 – “the year of the MOOC” – marks an epochal shift in higher education and a renewed consideration about the values and methodologies of educating. MOOCs (Massive Open On-line Courses) represent, according to many, a “game changer” and “revolution” for education globally. Their emergence has initiated an explosion of discussion and debate about education and learning in the 21st century.

MOOC initiatives such as Coursera, Udacity and edX have received millions of dollars in venture capital funding, and have quickly captured the interest of millions of people globally. Cousera, for example, now has almost 1.8 million students in less than 1 year of operation: considerably more students than are currently enrolled in all of Australia’s 39 universities.

In this talk, I will give a brief overview of MOOCs and other related innovations, the ideas behind them, current criticisms, and why they are poised to change higher education. This consequentially necessitates a discussion on the future role of the university, faculty and of academics in research and education. How might we be affected in the coming years? How well placed are we to deal with these changes, particularly in IT?

MOOCs and their impact are only part the bigger and more important revolution: that through technology, change and innovation is becoming faster, more global and seemingly, more relentless. Combined with major geopolitical, social, environmental and population changes, this makes for what are likely to be challenges unprecedented in human history. Past ways of thinking are insufficient to deal with these challenges, but they also present exciting new opportunities. How we deal with them and the decisions we make now may have important implications in a few years time.