Great question in an Educause article on MOOCs by George Siemens & Dave Cormier:
Is the value [of education] the content — the academic journal articles, lectures, textbooks, and libraries that compose much of the teaching and learning process? Or is it the engagement and interaction that occurs through discussions? Or is it the self-organized activities of learners in the social spaces of a college or university?
Siemens & Cormier go on to say (and it’s important to remember that this was written in 2010, before MOOC became an education buzzword) that the interaction, the access to the debate…the negotiation of knowledge is the real value in education, not the stale cataloging of content. I look forward to seeing if beliefs have changed after the roll-out of MOOCs via platforms akin to EdX.