Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Movement and Academic Advising

Recent interest in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) movement plus the burgeoning partnerships between dozens of universities and MOOC providers have sparked discussions across the country about what this might mean for higher education as we know it. Do you think MOOCs and related offerings within higher ed are influencing the kind and manner of advising assistance that students need and might change the direction of the academic advising profession? Is your institution involved in these kinds of discussions? How might the advising profession accommodate and grow with these changes to ensure that students continue to receive help in making well-informed academic decisions?

What is your opinion?

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    I don’t know yet. Students of all ages and backgrounds are demanding more and more and want things faster and faster. They’re taking on a more consumeristic approach in their roles, which I have mixed feelings about. Being a good consumer means being an educated consumer; but I’m not sure how that fits within the “industry” (for lack of a better word) in higher education. You can be an educated consumer when it comes to determining which institution or mode of learning is best for you, but when is a student a consumer and when is a student a student? Do they have the right to “demand” prescriptive advising? Do we as advisers “know what’s best” for our students? How do we promote self-authorship and outlets for development without making students feel like as advisers we are slowing them down? Higher education is transformative and sometimes messy, regardless of the mode one is receiving it, and students need someone who can navigate the possibilities and waters. MOOCs are just another mode, and I tend to think that this craze is just a bit of a fad and will die down. I hope MOOCs can continue to be available as an option for lifelong learning, but I don’t believe they will “take over” higher education.


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