Do you remember all the way back in 2013? You know, the year North West was born, the Harlem Shake made its debut, and selfies changed phone texting rates. More notably, there was the bombing at the Boston Marathon, our climate proved that abnormal would be the new normal, and our planet lost Nelson Mandela. But for those of you who attend education conferences, you also likely remember 2013 as the year that showed 5-10 MOOC sessions on every program or agenda. Some will say 2012 was the Year of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), but 2013 was where all of the publicity started to catch up to the hype. And as someone who goes to 30 conferences a year, for me it was the year of MOOC overload!
The “e-vangelists” were out in full force with the over-promising and under-delivering of ed tech rhetoric. MOOCs were going to save Higher Education (or destroy it, depending on the session you attended); MOOCs would finally allow tiny State schools or small private colleges the ability to play on the national stage and compete with R-1’s and the Ivy League; and MOOCs would make education a true commodity, thereby creating a financially viable education-for-all system. MOOCs even made popular news media outlets like The New York Times and Time Magazine.