THE advent of Massive Open Online Courses has revolutionised teaching and learning methods. They are fast replacing the traditional education system and emerging as a tool for offering quality education and training to people worldwide. All that one needs to learn is the interest and a computer with internet connection.

The future of MOOCs is still evolving and their shape will become clearer with time. However, some trends in education in the last century match the sudden onset of MOOCs.

In a few years, MOOCs have received immense coverage in academia, industry and media. In 2012, the then CEO of MOOC platform, Sebestian Thrun of Udacity, forecast: “in 50 years, there will be only 10 institutions in the world delivering higher education.” He also made the claim that the magic formula for learning has been found which would be MOOC.

Many theorists are of the opinion that MOOCs confirm the statement management guru Peter Drucker made about education in 1997. “The current set-up is doomed, at least so far as higher education is concerned. Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won’t survive. . .” Academics today are challenged on how to respond to this phenomenon.

Students of today can learn from different courses offered by diverse institutions instead of committing to a single university and being limited by its course offerings. In addition to a substitute for formal education, MOOCs can be used as tools for developing skills in our youth.

We are witnessing the emergence of a thrilling period of learning novelty. It will be fascinating to see how this unravels in future.

Dr Sajid Iqbal

Lahore

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2017

Opinion

Editorial

TTP talks’ oversight
Updated 07 Jul, 2022

TTP talks’ oversight

The bottom line is that the state should not negotiate with terrorists from a position of weakness.
Rain disaster
07 Jul, 2022

Rain disaster

IT is the same story year in and year out. Despite many lives lost, billions of rupees in accumulated damages and ...
Sri Lanka bankruptcy
07 Jul, 2022

Sri Lanka bankruptcy

CRITICALLY low foreign exchange reserves; a plummeting currency and a tanking economy; lengthy power cuts and long,...
Miftah’s misery
Updated 06 Jul, 2022

Miftah’s misery

It cannot be easy to be finance minister in times like these, with friend and foe alike gunning for you over difficult decisions.
Phone tapping
06 Jul, 2022

Phone tapping

IT is the season of audio leaks. No sooner does one ‘incriminating’ clip lose its shock value than another...
Transgender job quota
06 Jul, 2022

Transgender job quota

IN a society where transgender persons often face violence and abuse, the Sindh Assembly’s decision to reserve a...