The Future of Learning: MOOC vs Private vs Traditional Education

Posted by Dr. Burton on October 4, 2010 in Android, Corona, Education, iPad, iPhone, Mobile |

This is an idea I have had for a long time (since my wife and I started Burton’s Garden of Schools 20 years ago):
Create a venue that would allow people to learn to develop their knowledge and skills, for free or a low cost.

I read in the Chronicle of Higher Learning that a few universities have begun offering Massive Open Online Courses.  A MOOC is a free course for which anyone can register. You do not receive college credit, a certificate or even teacher feedback during the class.  You do receive educational opportunity in a structured learning environment to gain new skills and knowledge (the reason that universities and colleges exist).  I first learned of some universities offering some of their course work online for free (lectures, powerpoints, syllabi, etc) at a conference.  Of course the home schooling community has made use of such materials since they first became available.  My daughter took a free philosophy course offered by Yale during her senior year of high school.
The results that I have read on MOOC are mixed: on the negative side, it is a lot of work with no compensations (for the professor), sometimes there are students that join the class just to disrupt or to spam fellow students. On the plus, many faculty report that it has been a very rewarding experience with over 1/3 of those who enrolled in the MOOC actively participating and even meeting outside of the online environment face-to-face.  Open University in England even reports that it has had the effect of increasing their enrollment in classes.

If I teach it, will they come?

Over the past several months I have had many requests to provide educational courses in iPhone/iPad and Android mobile development. The requests range from individuals to corporations to universities. Obviously, I only have so many hours in the day, so creating something like a MOOC has a certain appeal.

I’m considering a tiered system:

MOOC Burton’s Media Group College Course
Teacher Support
None Yes Yes
Credentials None Certificate College Credit
Cost Free Low High

So my question is, are you interested?  If you are, in which type of system?  MOOC, a certificate that I provide, or a college course?

Here is my first MOOC on iPhone/iPad programming.

I am currently working on one for Corona and Android development.

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  • Michael G says:

    Dr. Burton, I like this idea a lot, particularly the MOOC. I would probably be willing to cough up the cash for the Burton’s Media Group level, too. Please let us know if and when you go live.

  • David says:

    I have watched a few of your tutorial and really like the idea of the MOOC. I find it easy to learn the way you explain thing. Most of the other videos I have watched tend to forget that some of us are beginners and make assumptions about what we already know. If if you put this together I would definitely be interested. I am trying to learn the Corona framework. I am learning but I am having to skip all over the place to fill in the gaps.

  • Dr. Burton says:

    Thank you for the feedback! I am working on a MOOC for the Corona framework. I will post links to each of my MOOC’s as they become operational on this page.

  • T. Wilson says:

    I am VERY interested in the MOOC for Corona and am looking forward to it I like David above says find many tutorials way over my head and am having to jump all over the place to create my app. I am almost to the point of hiring someone to do it for me but really would rather do it myself so it is truly my project.

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