Is it time for the MOOC concept to expand…downwards? Apple brought out the iPad and then the iPad mini. Is there a potential market for BOOCs (Boutique Open Online Courses) or mOOCs (Mini/Micro Open Online Courses). These could be hosted in the existing LMS (Learning Management Systems – e.g. Blackboard or MOODLE) within institutions providing a familiar toolset for teaching staff to use.
Student enrollments could be limited to a set number and once a course is full, incoming students would just have to wait until the course is run again. Why is there a current obcession around big numbers?
If an academic wishes to share their subject expertise with the world, and they can do it outside of their day to day duties where they work, this should be encouraged by institutions.
I’m concerned about this trend, it reminds me of the rubber suits that people used to run in to ‘lose weight’. While the thermic affect MAY help weight loss, there is a real danger of hyperthermia. We sweat to lose heat from our exercising muscles. If the sweat can’t evaporate then we can overheat and get a heat illness, collapse and at the worst extreme, die. I’ve always said, when running races in Australia you have two enemys, the battle for the race itself and the battle to lose heat. I leave this argument with two quotes from Brahams.
“The rubber suits worn by many people to lose weight are potentially dangerous and have resulted in death from heat stroke.” Brahams 1988
Three of the deaths were the consequence of attempts at rapid weight loss by extreme fasting and exercise (e.g., exercise wearing a rubber suit and sweat suit which led to hyperthermia).