The MOOC process is more important than standardisation

I am at present doing two “MOOC‘s”. I did my first through Coursera, last year.
In that course I learnt about the many problems faced by our world in terms of population, energy and the change to our climate as well as the continuing growth of urbanisation and the effects that all of this may have on our ability to survive as a species on a beautiful planet that we have used and very much misused.
It was a great course in getting to interact with fellow learners from countries across the globe. There were great discussions about some controversial topics. There were also little tests every week and a project that was to be peer-assessed.
At the end of the course we were to be told if we had gained a certificate of achievement. I did not get mine. I was not in the least bothered by this outcome. I did not do this course to gain any qualification. I wanted to expand my horizons and increase me learning. That I was also able to interact with some brilliant people and be able to question my perspectives on some of the most pressing problems for our Earth was a definite outcome for me.
I read today about a discussion that took part at a conference in the U.S.A. about standardising MOOCs and making them fit the more traditional academic model. This I feel will be a wrong move. The MOOC is all about process. The ability to learn with and from fellow learners throughout the world and possibly to have a change in our perspectives that comes from this process.
I am currently taking a really fascinating g MOOC from M.I.T. called “Learning Creative Learning”. In this course we have been divided up into small groups based on time zones. We will be doing some practical creative exercises using some of the ideas and products from the M.I.T. Media Lab. At the end of it I may not have any certification, I will not get a degree but I will have had the opportunity to watch some great minds doing cutting edge research about how technology and learning interact, I will have had the chance to interact with some great people and I would have increased my learning.
The MOOC is a brilliant development of the Age of Information  I sincerely hope that it does not become a dull and boring extension of the outmoded lecture and examine that I went through when I went to University 40 years ago!


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