medium_6192423704This weekend I attended the American Association of Community Colleges in San Francisco. I wondered how MOOCs would influence the agenda to reinvent the student experience.  AACC focused a program track on progress made taking action on the report Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future.  The report from the 21st Century Commission calls out redesigning the student educational experience as one of the strategic pillars for reimagining the community college. Here are two questions to consider:

How do MOOCs intersect with the 21st Century Initiative Implementation?

Nine teams have been deployed to guide and evaluate progress toward nationwide implementation of the 21st-Centrury Report Initiatives. MOOCs are an important option for community colleges to consider across the continuum of the student experience. One implementation team is focused on reimagining pathways for student success. I attended this team’s session on their progress.  Participants were energized and the discussion was lively. I sensed this team would be open to incorporating examination of this innovative solution to reinvent student success pathways. Wake Technical Community College is an example of a first mover in partnering with MOOCs provider, Udacity. Together Wake Tech and Udacity are testing how to revolutionize developmental education using MOOCs.

Are there costs for Community Colleges associated with MOOCs being offered for “FREE?”

There is absolutely a cost associated with “free.” So far, the dialogue for MOOCs is focused on teaching and learning on a global scale. Questions about what “free” means in delivery are still being formulated. As delivery continues to ramp up and discussions focus on faculty and student engagement in MOOCs, the conversation will quickly move to student support services. Student support in MOOCs courses requires re-thinking the services business model.  How can the current student services support framework either adapt or innovate in real ways? How can the student services support model align with how students interacts with the community college- not how the institution interacts with students?

The MOOCs question is important to the future of community colleges, however, there are broader organization questions that need to be considered in tandem.

Are you interested in having a conversation about how your institution considers the MOOCs question? Contact me at [email protected].

photo credit: York College of PA via photopin cc