MOOCs, Artificial Intelligence Systems, and the Dilemma of Tertiary Education in the 21st Century: A Theoretical Appraisal of the Human Factors

MOOCs, Artificial Intelligence Systems, and the Dilemma of Tertiary Education in the 21st Century: A Theoretical Appraisal of the Human Factors

Ikedinachi Ayodele Power Wogu (Rhema University Nigeria, Aba, Nigeria), Morris Edogiawere (Igbenigiong University, Okada, Nigeria), Jesse Oluwafemi Katende (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria), Edith Awogu-Maduagwu (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria), Charles Nathaniel Chukwuedo (Federal College of Education Technology Asaba, Asaba, Nigeria) and Sanjay Misra (Covenant University, OTA, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1279-1.ch002

Abstract

Recent research on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the education industry for teaching and learning has stirred up a revolution via the use of platforms like the massive open online courses (MOOC) the likes of which the world have never seen before. Millions through this platform can now enroll online to get one form of education or the other. Many scholars, however, doubt the quality of education transmitted and acquired via these platforms; hence, some scholars describe the education gotten through this medium as artificial education. A situation that has resulted in a kind of revolution in the education industry described as education tsunami. The Marxian theory of alienation offers an appropriate theoretical platform for the analysis conducted in the paper. The ex-post factor method of analysis and Deidra's critical analytic method was adopted for attaining the objectives of the paper. The dilemmas eroding the quality of education were identified. Blended learning approaches, as against present methods, were recommended.
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Introduction

Background

The quest to attain the highest global education rate in the nearest future, continues to be the desire and objective of all concerned bodies and organizations in the world. The 2nd agenda of the just elapsed Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) and the 4th agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) both seeks to promote and achieve a universal primary education for all in the nearest future (UNSDG Knowledge, 2015 and UNOD, 2016). These goals notwithstanding, accessing higher education by all who require it in this dispensation has not been an easy task, seeing that those who desire these form of education have been on a geometric increase: For instance, the demand for higher education globally is predicted would have doubled by 2025, to 200 million number of persons seeking such education per year. This number would come mostly from emerging economies (NAFSA 2010).

The quest to provide adequately for the rising demand for education at all levels in the 21st century - researchers like (Wogu, 2016; Wogu, 2018; Wogu, 2019) believe - is responsible for jump-starting the great revolution in global online education which has hit the education industry like a tsunami (Brooks and Collins, 2012). The thought about the gains associated with the advent of online global education excites the ordinary man since this new trend is believed, would further liberate the ordinary man from poverty and increase the individual’s chances of getting better and new jobs and long over-due promotions from ones place of work. To this end, contemporary researchers tend to argue that of all other factors, education seems to be that one factor with the most potential to unlock billions of brains for solving the world’s biggest problems in the 21st Century (Friedman, 2013; Kolla and Ng, 2013; Scagnoli, 2014; Richter, 2014 and Siemen, 2014). The platform believed would be instrumental in delivering the mandate of making education available to all, is the platform of ‘Massive Open Online Course, also known as MOOC. Studies however reveal that this platform is currently undergoing further development at the instance of great institutions like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University. Other companies like Udacity, Coursera, Wiz IQ, edX, UPEx, iversity, Stanford Online and Etcetera, are also actively engaged in the use of this MOOC platforms (Friedman, 2013).

As profound as the goal of making affordable /free education available to the less privilege and all desiring such education via the platform of MOOC is, there are an increasing number of researchers who believe that the move to make education affordable and available to all desiring it, is beginning to have an untold damage on the whole essence of the goal of education and on the original values of the institution on which the whole idea of teaching and learning was founded upon. This paper therefore critically investigates the roles which AI powered MOOCs have played in fostering the goals of education in the 21st century.

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