MOOCs are so unambitious: introducing the MOOPhD


My article proposing (only very slightly tongue-in-cheek) a massive open online PhD. It goes into some detail about ways this could be done, and the issues that might prevent it from happening. I wrote the article as an exercise to see whether the idea actually makes sense, partly to explore some of the troublesome issues about MOOCs in general, and partly to try to understand what is genuinely distinctive about a PhD process.

I think it does make sense as a supporting process for researchers (not really a course, more of a club) but there are some pretty big barriers and concerns that will make it hard for this kind of thing to replace a traditional PhD. There are some tricky concerns about things like ethics reviews and sustaining motivation, but it's interesting that the biggest barriers have little to do with pedagogy or process, and a lot to do with simpler things like finding a university to examine the thesis, getting access to closed research publications, and finding resources like labs and places to do your research. 


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