ERIC Number: EJ1023418
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Massive Open Online Courses: Disruptive Innovations or Disturbing Inventions?
de Langen, Frank; van den Bosch, Herman
Open Learning, v28 n3 p216-226 2013
According to Christensen and Horn, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are serving non-consumers. Although they are limited in the services they provide compared with traditional colleges, they offer free and accessible education to a broader audience, who cannot afford the traditional provision. However, this is a characteristic of online distance learning in its broadest sense, as can be read in the reports of UNESCO. For MOOCs to be disruptive, they have to: open up markets by competing with the existing firms using low-cost business models; improve beyond the level of the original competitors, taking price differences into account; and improve quality and replace the established firms. In this article, we are going to look at whether MOOCs are really disruptive innovations, or educational innovations that disturb the present state without driving out old educational business models. Based on the three characteristics of Christensen and Horn, our conclusion will be that the latter is the case. This does not mean that traditional education can ignore MOOCs, open educational resources and other forms of online distance learning, but that it will not be a direct competitor for degree-searching students.
Descriptors: Online Courses, Distance Education, Adult Education, Educational Quality, Models, Standards, Educational Change, Academic Degrees, Innovation, Large Group Instruction, Open Universities, Access to Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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