Conclusions: What Does the Future Hold for MOOCs?

6.1. “To MOOC or not to MOOC”?

In the eyes of some, MOOCs are already outdated. At the very well-attended conference on online education, Online UNICA Berlin 2013, the workshop on MOOCs was introduced with the provocative title: “MOOCs are doomed1. Among the reasons offered for this belief, Nicholas Breakwell (of Hibernia College, Ireland) argued that MOOCs represent a marketing campaign to attract students to a course; nevertheless the employment rate after graduation from a MOOC is comparable to that for a normal course, but that the MOOC costs more to implement. Another reason for skepticism is that MOOCs are not a new phenomenon.

Indeed, as indicated in Chapter 1, MOOCs represent the prolongation of the numerous experiments already performed in the areas of distance learning and e-learning. For those who use it, this argument is something of a double-edged sword, as it is true that distance learning has been taking place for decades and many people have successfully benefited from it. The percentage of American students who have taken an online course has risen from 10% to 33% in the space of ten years, and that figure grows regularly and at a much greater rate than the number of students. In addition, the number of educators who feel that the result of online teaching is inferior to that of face-to-face teaching is decreasing constantly, and has now dropped to 25% [ALL 14].

In fact, as pointed out by Maren Deepwell (Association ...

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