Siva Vaidhyanathan blog article “What’s the Matter with MOOCs?” in The Chronicle of Higher Education expresses a belief that MOOCs are not the source of education but are an additional tool in an educators toolbox to educate a student in a particular subject. In this article he comments
“I have learned a lot about a lot of things beyond my expertise from them. My life is richer because of them. MOOCs inform me. But they do not educate me. There is a difference.”
Educating a student is more than the delivery of content. Vaidhyanathan comments,
“The delivery of course content is not the same as education. And training students to perform technical tasks, such as doing basic equations in calculus, is not the same as education.”
One of the values MOOCs have in the education of students are their ability to reduce the overall cost of an education to students.
Vaidhyanathan further comments,
“But people don’t just go to college to learn; they go to college to get a job. That’s the difference between a library and a college.”
This observation charges educational institutions to use the vast resources available to them to create curricula that build on the content provided by MOOCs to provide applicable learning outcomes of specific subjects and/or topics that lead students to be more critical, innovative, and applicable thinking.