future-education

What does the future hold for education? Even as European education systems struggle with budget cuts and austerity, there is a digital revolution taking place. The internet has the potential to transform education in the same way it is shaking up journalism, publishing, and the music and film industries.

One significant (though awkwardly-named) element of the digital revolution is the so-called “MOOC”. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses with unlimited global enrolment open to anyone. There were 3,842 MOOCs worldwide in January 2015, and the number is growing exponentially (201% in 2014). They are usually non-accredited, but some universities and colleges may recognise credits from MOOCs.

As part of our Debating Europe Schools series, we’ve been taking questions from students from across Europe to policymakers and experts for them to answer. For today’s debate, we had a question sent in on MOOCs from a student from the Kiev National University of Technology and Design, Ukraine.

Curious to know more about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the future of education? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).

13 - Digital-Revolution

Our question came from Maxime, PHD student at Kiev National University of Technology and Design, Ukraine. Maxime wanted to know what will be the role of Massive Open Online Courses in schools and universities. How will they influence upcoming generations of students?

To get a response, we spoke to Roxana Rugina, Co-founder of Simplon, a company offering free training in web development & entrepreneurship.

To get another perspective, we also approached Anant Agarwal, the CEO of EdX, a nonprofit MOOC launched in 2012 that runs on open source software. How would he respond to Maxime?

Anant-AgarwalMOOCs won’t replace universities, but rather enhance the quality of education by incorporating blended learning. In blended classrooms, the on-campus university course can leverage the power of MOOCs to free up classroom time for interactive collaboration and discussion, testing, and problem solving.

EdX also partners with universities and institutions to use its platform to conduct research into how students learn in order to improve on-campus and online education.

MOOCs are also being used to help students transition from high school to university. EdX recently launched a high school initiative, a series of high school and introductory level courses to help bridge the gap between high school and college and prepare learners to university level studies.

What about the second part of Maxime’s question? How does Anant Agarwal think the digital revolution will affect the lives of the next generation of students?

Anant-AgarwalUp to now, quality education – and in some cases, any higher education at all – has been the privilege of the few. We see MOOCs as the great democratizer, and believe that in the future, economics, social status, gender or geography will not determine a student’s access to education or opportunity for success. We also envision a continuous education system – one that doesn’t stop after four years of college. Our vision for the future is to continue to work with universities, institutions, faculty, researchers, and students to innovate and transform education, to make education accessible to everyone, and to improve on-campus learning through research.

What does the future of education look like? How will Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) transform education? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC – BY-NC-ND – Jisc and Matt Lincoln


25 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Robert Santa

    Not that much? MOOCs “degrees” have fairly little value as currency in society/the economy and drop-out rates due to poor motivation are very high. I think they will massively transform the market for rapid upskilling however. Need a rapid crash-course in statistics? A MOOC might be more useful here than enrolling in a university, but for larger scope educational periods I doubt they will change much…

  2. Rick Wilmot

    The UK must catch up with European education, we lag way behind especially in languages,. Here in Spain, 5 year old kids learn English!

  3. Breogán Costa

    for me, MOOCs are a great complement, but it’s not that easy as “replace” universities. Sometimes, you need equipment that probably you cannot pay (electronics, etc), so, not that easy. But an amazing complement, I’ve done several MOOCs and I will continue doing.

  4. Inês Valente

    I think MOOCs are extremely helpful but they won’t replace Uni degrees. They’re meant to be done sporadically, if you need to know something specific and you need to learn it now and fast, they’re amazing. They help people with continued education, something that lacks in the majority of the population. You have to keep up to date after you started working.

    Also, if you are in a situation where you just have no money but are dedicated and can learn by yourself, they’re the right choice.

    Finally, I also think most of them are better than my Uni classes were..

  5. Rui Duarte

    I like on-line courses.. but «education» is about much much more than «techniques»; especially as university level. «Character», for example, needs interaction. If we try to reduce highter «education» to technical knowledge

  6. Rui Duarte

    as «Bologna» does, then our civilization will crumble before we get to see «the future».

  7. Rui Duarte

    Online courses are a very good «instrument» to people who know what they want, though.

  8. Ioanna Geor

    education will not necessarily be in the form of writing and reading in the future… in a few decades it will be all about numbers and coding

    • Prince du Sang

      This is sad news.

  9. Teresa Paiva

    To me, every way to share knowledge, that communicates interesting and imoortant issues is a good way. Knowledge should be free for everyone.

  10. Nando Aidos

    Are we comparing education with publishing? With the music and film industries? Are those the standards we are aiming at? Please!

  11. Arjan Tupan

    I believe the impact of MOOCs will be that education becomes more accessible. Also, as early results show, it might help teachers to develop their skills. But maybe the most direct impact, will be that it will be possible for future students to get a complete degree by combining courses (online and on-campus) from many universities. Think of, for example, what the Erasmus program has done to give students in Europe more opportunities to do part of their studies abroad. Then multiply that not just by the number of semesters, but the number of classes one needs to take to complete a degree.
    I think MOOCs will prove to be a wonderful addition to the current education system. Looking at how many schools are already doing MOOCs, I think they will find ways to integrate them fully into their offerings, to the benefit of the schools and the students.

  12. Carmen Medina

    I have taken several MOOCs. There is only one word that can describe them “awesome”. Why? Not only because of the content in itself, the comfort of studying, reading and listening anytime and anywhere to your own convenience, but because of the connections. You are working with/in the world. It really does not matter who or what you are. You are simply a student who is learning and sharing their ideas with others. If there is a way of reaching world peace, I think MOOCs just may be that way. They are a stage where you can bounce off your ideas and constructively criticize the ideas of others. I find the possibilities fascinating.

  13. Irena Llleibovici

    I think that a multimedia multifunctional intelligent system shall be useful when being used in the same time in the class, online, as virtual lesson, virtual book, virtual library and a classic e-learning system, The development of the curricula is actually the challenge today, but the systems permitting the record of the lessons shall be useful and in 1-2 years we should pass over this problem. The system must be the saame for any grade, with little canges and permissive in adopting new hard and software any time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyE4ypdo83o .

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