Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are already being used in high schools and middle schools in the United States. Many professors and teachers have serious concerns about the pedagogical value of these courses. Now, some MOOCs are raising new privacy concerns among students and parents.
Students in MOOCs often submit personal data and educational work that can be harvested, stored, and used by MOOC providers. Since these courses are often developed by or in partnership with private corporations, the storing and use of students’ information and work is worrisome.
An article by Caitlin Emma on “Online Education Run Amok?” delves into these privacy concerns and their political ramifications. According to Emma, “The people behind the online courses say the metrics they collect will help them better understand not just what students learn, but also how they learn. Less clear is the extent to which providers might profit from the information in other ways, be it by selling the data to other organizations or mining it themselves for marketing gold.”
Politico reports on the privacy concerns about MOOCs.