MOOCs 2030: a future for massive open online learning

Ferguson, Rebecca; Sharples, Mike and Beale, Russell (2015). MOOCs 2030: a future for massive open online learning. In: Bonk, Curtis J.; Lee, Mimi M.; Reeves, Thomas C. and Reynolds, Thomas H. eds. MOOCs and Open Education around the World. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 315–326.



In this chapter, we look ahead to the year 2030 and consider the ways in which current visions of massive open online courses may develop into realities. We also look at the changes in pedagogy, technology, and the wider environment that will be necessary in order for them to flourish.

By 2030, it is unlikely that we will still be using the term MOOC. What MOOCs have initiated is an understanding of how higher learning can be offered online at massive scale. As universities, companies, governments and non-government organisations enter this world of massive online learning, they will encounter not only economies of scale, opportunities to enter new education markets, and ways to disseminate their ideas worldwide, but also the traditional education issues of teacher education, course design, quality assurance, examination, and accreditation, recast for a global body of students. The roles of universities will change as they seek to expand their programmes for online learning, with all the issues associated with students from many locations and cultures engaging in learning at a distance. Nevertheless, the university will have a place in this new mix, not only as a site for premium campus services but also as a trusted examining body. Universities will also play a significant role as leaders of research into innovative pedagogical practices.

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