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Insights from EMOOCs 2019 - edX, FutureLearn & Coursera on the future of MOOCs

Posted in 'Featured' started by Carolyn, May 28, 2019.

  1. Carolyn

    Carolyn Founder at MoocLab Staff Member

    Suffolk, UK
    EMOOCs 2019, the European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit, was recently hosted in Naples, Italy. The event, now in its 7th year, is organised by the Federica Weblearning Centre at the University of Naples Federico II, and provides a platform for decision-makers and practitioners to explore innovative and emerging trends in online education delivery, and the strategic policy that supports them.

    This year, the focus was on the future of online education with debates on how HE Institutions face the challenge of reskilling and upskilling people throughout their lives as well as data and technology in education.

    Three of the biggest names in MOOC education delivered keynotes on the future of MOOCs: Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn,and Dil Sidhu, Chief Content Officer at Coursera.

    What was clear from the three keynotes was that all three MOOC players have a similar vision and focus:
    1. Putting the learner first
    2. Stackability and flexibility are key for the modern learner
    3. Encouraging the collaboration between university partners
    4. Making education more accessible to all
    Talking of the future of learning, Anant Agarwal of edX highlighted 5 reasons we should re-imagine the way we do things today.
    Presentation slide by Anant Agarwal, CEO at edX

    "People are learning and working at the same time changing careers as they go.", stated Agarwal. All three speakers agreed that learning needs to be continuous and lifelong to meet the demands of a dynamic job market as well as new technologies. "To keep on working, we need to keep on learning", added edX CEO, a notion that was later corroborated by both Simon Nelson and Dil Sidhu in their keynotes.

    Addressing the need for up-skilling and re-skilling employees was also high on the agenda for all 3 MOOC platforms, with a particular focus on modular learning and the stackability of credentials from a single course, to a micocredential to a full degree. The way people learn is changing. They now want to learn around their job, and the flexibility of modular learning gives them that possibility. "MOOCs are the gateway to online degrees", stated Dil Sidhu from Coursera. "62 percent of those who take an online degree [on Coursera] started with a MOOC”, he added.
    Presentation slide by Dil Sidhu, Chief Content Officer at Coursera.

    Fostering collaboration between university partners is another common focus shared by the speakers. FutureLearn's Simon Nelson disclosed the launch of a Common Microcredential Framework (CMF) by the European MOOC Consortium (EMC) with its founding platform partners including FutureLearn, France Université Numérique (FUN), OpenupEd, Miríadax, and EduOpen. The main goal for the CMF is "to establish an international set of criteria for MOOC credentials". edX CEO also stressed how multi-institution programs are radical looking forward, a number of which having already been implemented via the edX platform, and Coursera's Dil Sidhu agreed that "Collaboration with partners is key."

    The question of leveraging MOOCs to transform access to education was raised in all three keynotes. According to Nelson, the digitisation of learning is the only way to deal with the vast shortage of Higher Education globally. But it still remains unclear how the MOOC platforms will actually achieve this and make access to quality Higher Ed a reality for all. One thing IS clear, though. MOOCs have stood the test of time and have evolved to meet the demands of a new generation of workers.

    Keynote Recordings
    • Click here to view Anant Agarwal's keynote (This recording has poor sound quality)
    • Click here to view Simon Nelson's keynote
    • Click here to view Dil Sidhu's keynote

    Attached Files:

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