There were some interesting thoughts from Professor Diana Laurillard at the UALL conference in April this year. She noted that MOOCS usually had a completion rate of 10% or less and that the dominant users were people who had degrees already (70% in the case of Edinburgh, 85% in the case of Coursera). As she said, ‘the main users of MOOCS are highly qualified professionals – MOOCS are parasitic on university teaching paid for by undergraduates’.
This all suggests to me that the OU’s ‘FutureLearn’ is not a game changer, but a diversion of the OU’s main business of giving fee-paying students the best possible support for their studies. With OU registrations down by 18% and the graduation rate around 22%, it’s not the time for the VC to be hiring speechwriter and getting a 10% rise in salary to £400,000 pa.