http://s.huffpost.com/images/v/logos/bpage/college.gif?31By Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. Game-changing technology innovations occur periodically in any industry. Clay Christensen demonstrated this in The Innovator's Dilemma and his follow-up book with Michael Raynor, The Innovator's Solution. Both offer examples across tens of industries ranging from steam shovels to department stores to disk drives to transportation to education. Yet for every breakthrough, game-changing, disruptive innovation, there are multiple product concepts that show promise for a time, but then stall or disappear completely.
MOOCs (massive open online courses) appeared on the scene recently: The first MOOC dates only to 2008. In fact, though generally bundled, there are at least two distinct types of MOOCs, sometimes called cMOOCs and xMOOCs. The former, first offered at the University of Manitoba, describes courses that emphasize connectivity and networking. Many see them as especially interesting and a stronger model for promoting useful learning, as they generally require one to demonstrate competence versus simply a play-back of information. However, to date, cMOOCs have not captured the public's imagination as have the huge numbers attracted to xMOOCs, most of which utilize a traditional lecture format chopped up into 10 to 15 minutes bites. Thus, for this post, I will concentrate here on the xMOOCs. (For an excellent and comprehensive discussion on MOOCs, see Making Sense of MOOCs.) Read more...