Sunday, February 14, 2016

"Rome was not built in a day"


The article above implied that MOOCs have failed to deliver its potential to educate the masses. Well, I won't be too quick to jump to a conclusion. Yes, I'm a strong advocate of MOOCs and online learning — as a student of MOOCs as well as a practitioner of online learning, and now helping the Ministry of Education with the Malaysia@MOOC. Let us view it this way: Rome was not built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. I'm always reminded of this phrase. It takes time to achieve something great.

Actually, Rome was just the result of massive, persistent effort and lots of hard work. It was the outcome of a grand feat of strength and stamina — and intelligence. The bricks were the small units that made up the great structure. What about MOOCs? We are still laying the foundation -- still laying the bricks. Mistakes and failures are to be expected. The problem is, people (politicians, administrators, investors) are impatience—they want to see MOOCs as a game changer that could transform education overnight. There's no such thing as a silver bullet. MOOCs is not a magical solution to complicated issues we are facing now with our education.

Those passionate educators and lifelong learners who have benefited from MOOCs and other forms of online learning would understand and appreciate the value of technology and open education. Let's turn all the problems or issues raised by online learning into great opportunities. I guess there are still thousands of bricks to be laid — just persevere.

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