While college presidents are skeptical about massive open online courses (MOOCs), they see plenty of potential "positive impact" with hybrid courses that blend face-to-face and online learning as well as adaptive learning that uses technology to modify lessons based on the progress shown by students.
According to technologists and digital education evangelists, massive open online courses, or MOOCs, represent the future of education. That may be so, but why is it that Oxford University sees them as the very antithesis of quality education? Antony Funnell reports.
Think how boring life would be if you had to get a bunch of bureaucrats to approve every innovative teaching technique that you wanted to try. It would be like living in a corporate university with a pencil-pusher stationed right there in your classroom.
The technology of austerity is not interactive because interactive costs time and money. This won’t work if you’re only measuring educational “efficiency.”
In summary, the only people who are happy by this kind of result are lifelong learners with no skin in the game and the clerks. Is it really worth disrupting everybody’s higher education to make just these two groups happy?
Kim Flintoff's insight:
A spoonful of sugar and then Mary Poppins kicks you out ... a dystopian view of MOOC developments...
U. of Zurich Says Professor Deleted MOOC to Raise Student Engagement
[Updated (7/8/2014, 2:53 p.m.) with news of a post on the controversy by the MOOC instructor.]
The University of Zurich says it has cleared up the bizarre case of the MOOC that went missing. But the university is offering few clarifying details to the public, which has been left to piece together theories from the university’s statements and from cryptic tweets by the course’s professor about an unspecified experiment he might have been trying to conduct.
Guidelines to ensure the ethical use of data gathered from online learners need to be developed, to prevent the misuse of personal information, a group of academics has said.
Delegates at the Asilomar Convention for Learning Research in Higher Education, which took place in California earlier this month, have produced a framework to promote the appropriate use of both learners’ personal information, and any research based on their activity.
The document states that six principles should inform the collection, storage, distribution and analysis of information gathered from people who engage with online learning resources such as massive open online courses.
Higher education is one of the great successes of the welfare state. What was once the privilege of a few has become a middle-class entitlement, thanks mainly to government support. Some 3.5 million Americans and 5 million Europeans will graduate this summer. In the emerging world universities are booming: China has added nearly 30 million places in 20 years.
“In 10 or 20 years, when we judge the great universities, it will not just be on their research but on the reach of their teaching,” Mr. Levin told The Chronicle on Wednesday.
That perspective dovetails, of course, with the mission of the company Mr. Levin now leads. Coursera, which teams up with traditional universities to provide free, online versions of their courses, has its own lofty ambitions as a global-change agent: “We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education,” reads the company’s mission statement.
Given that millions of people register for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), it is perhaps not surprising that much has been written to date about these still-evolving education platforms.
But what do we know about who is enrolled in MOOCs? Or how these platforms are (or aren’t) supporting learning? In today’s article we take a look at some fresh studies from the field to sketch out early observations about the usage and impacts of MOOCs. http://ow.ly/zrs0H
Universities are not homogenous organisations that take a consistent approach to how they produce students with degrees. Each academic teaches in a largely unique way and students all approach their learning in an equally non-uniform manner. At the end of the day, we haven’t found any consistent way of getting around the fact that in order to learn, students are required to put in a great deal of effort and they can only be guided and supported in this endeavour. The motivations for students, especially young ones, to do this on their own without the incentive of obtaining a degree that means something substantial in economic and social terms, are simply not there.
If universities do eventually experience a revolution, it will not be because of MOOCs.
Phonar, an abbreviation of PHOtography and NARrative, is an in-person course at Coventry University in the UK and an open online course for as many as 35,000 participants around the world who co-create learning communities through a variety of media including blogs and a blog hub, Twitter (using the #phonar hashtag, and a Google+ community.
Case Study compiled by: Howard Rheingold
You don't need a learning management system or virtual learning environment to run an open class. Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress are awesome at being Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress, so spend your money on something else.There's a benefit of going where the fish are already swimming online. Become agile, move around from medium to medium because that's what the learners are doing.Don't try to change people's existing behavior. For each thing you do, think about how it could be a barrier to entry, and how to lower it – culturally, academically, geographically, linguistically.Tapping into networks requires opening up to networks -- when you enable other networks to access your work, you enable them to spread the word, answer queries, and respond to calls for participation.
Monash recently offered its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Creative Coding, as a collaborative venture through FutureLearn.
Lead academics Associate Professor Jon McCormack from the Faculty of Information Technology and Dr Mark Guglielmetti from the Faculty of Art Design & Architecture, worked with librarians and learning skills advisers and with staff from the Office of the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching). They developed learning objectives and guidelines for students around expectations and conduct in the MOOC.
The MOOC Project Coordinator will support and coordinate the uptake, development and evaluation of e-learning technologies, resources and pedagogies to enhance teaching quality, and support students learning in GCI's teaching programs. The position provides a single point of contact for staff (individuals and groups) related to eLearning systems and tools, with particular reference to those projects and academic staff developing courses for online distribution through the edX massive online learning system.