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Massive Open Online Courses in the Developing World | MIT Technology Review | Antonio Regalado

Massive Open Online Courses in the Developing World | MIT Technology Review | Antonio Regalado | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it
How a teacher in El Salvador became an advocate of massive open online courses, and why hardly anyone listens to him yet.

 

Comment: the article sketches the deplorable state of courses in a university in El Salvador and how a young, entrepreneurial professor meets with much resitance or at least little enthousiasm when he decides to teach with a MOOC. A success story, it seems but luckily, it also mentions Sebastian Thruns prediction that, in time, 10 universities will suffice to serve the world. Read and decide for yourself what makes the most economic sense and what is the morally right thing to do, and above all, which should prevail. (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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MOOC is not a dirty word… at least for the student | Sharon Perry

MOOC is not a dirty word… at least for the student | Sharon Perry | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"From a student point of view, a MOOC is a wonderful opportunity to try something for free, with no obligation if it doesn’t work out, or if circumstances force a change of mind."

 

Comment: Sharon is absolutely right, open content, free course are great resources, valuable supplements to what there already is out there. I myself have dipped my toes into MOOCs - never fully completed them, though - and even today was tempted to subscribe to the SpanishMooc.org [Correction added later: spanishmooc.com]. And I think many of the academics getting involved in MOOCs look upon them in this way too: hey, is this an interesting channel to use for sharing my thoughts or expertise with the rest of the world?

 

But remember, academic publishing in the eyes of academics is free too, by and large. It is the publisher that make money and the institutions that pay. Likewise with MOOCs, it is the institutions that have invested in the professor's salary that helped her become the expert she now is; it is the platforms and their funders, the venture capitalists, which reap the benefits, or at least intend to. Before we know it, they run the show, as publishers do with the impact rankings that in many countries at least in part dictate research policy (cf. the UK's research excellence framework). We should beware not to make the same mistake with something which is even more vulnerable and should be even more dear to use, the way we educate our children. While  I understand Sharon that is why I would like to underscore something she says in parenthesis, namely that we should _not yet_ fear MOOCs. Indeed, but once we realise we should have, we may find ourselves in a Faustian pact with the devil. Already MOOCs turn out be not so open as their names suggest. (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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suifaijohnmak's comment, November 11, 2012 6:59 AM
Hi Peter, Well said. I think there are always two sorts of responses of xMOOCs, the emotional and rational (logical) responses. I share similar response to yours and that of Sharon: From a student point of view, a MOOC is a wonderful opportunity to try something for free, with no obligation if it doesn’t work out, or if circumstances force a change of mind." The fear of MOOC has never been my main concern. I am in favor of MOOCs that really address the needs of learners AND educators, based on a PULL collaboration model, rather than a PULL model only. My assumptions are that learners would value most when learning and autonomy form the basis of MOOC, not just the business, though that may be a critical success factor in the xMOOCs - in terms of sustainability. It must be WIN-WIN-WIN for both the institutions, educators and learners for such MOOCs become a success. It would be great if MOOCs adopt a pedagogy that would really transform education, and that would lay down a bright future for institutions, and the educators, rather than diminishing the roles in Higher Education. That would be pity if we close down the pathway towards a transformation of learning, and a revolution of education, if it benefits all.
suifaijohnmak's comment, November 11, 2012 7:00 AM
Should read "rather than a PUSH model only.
Peter B. Sloep's comment, November 11, 2012 5:54 PM
@ yes, thanks for pointing that out. I will add a note to the text to avoid confusing others who may be looking for it.
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In 2020 most colleges and universities no longer exist | EPIC

"EPIC 2020, stands for the proposition that the education of the world will change dramatically for the better during this decade. The two movies that follow and this site hope to provide tools that shatter the paradigm that the future will be anything like the past as well as facilitate discussion and accelerate actions to bring about the transformation of the education of the world."

 

Comment: published in May this year but missed by me then, the 10 minute video narrative starts by saying that in the year 2020 most colleges and universities no longer exist. A story unfolds that begins with the success of the Khan Academy and Udacity, that predicts that Apple buys Amazon ('AppleZone') to boost the iTunesU, to which Google reacts with providing access to services that 'know what you know' and on the basis thereof 'predict what you need to know". In 2020 this revolution - the domination of global education by Apple and Google is complete, all universities and colleges have gone, except for those who cater for the rich and compete on the quality of food and leisure they provide. Watch it, your 10 minutes are well spent! (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Peter B. Sloep's comment, November 11, 2012 1:21 AM
No, not really, but I am not sure either. Note that the commoditization of education is something that appeals to venture capitalists, see their funding of MOOC providers Udacity, Coursera. Also LMS providers (Blackboard) don't want to miss this boat. And then the parallel with the music, film and book industries is forceful, even though they rely much less on interaction than education does. Finally, note that Apple (iTunesU) Google (their MOOC platform, forgot the name) are already involved. Let's put it this way, if universities are in financial trouble because of dwindling funding through governments and private capital with deep pockets gets involved. Is their a way they can be stopped?
plerudulier's comment, November 11, 2012 4:31 AM
I'm been thinking about that myself especially after realizing that many of those MOOC evangelists were actually teachers themselves. Although I perfectly understand the interest for students wannabes to get access to education no matter their financial contraints as well the willingness of some teachers to share with as many as possible i couldn't help thinking that by doing so the latter were, in a way, sawing off the branch they sit on.
Peter B. Sloep's comment, November 11, 2012 6:04 AM
Sawing of the branch: yes, that is a recurring theme in the posts that scoop.it collects for me. Also, just today I read a story about a student who echoed what you say: what are you nagging about, this is a wonderful opportunity for students (although she acknowledges that it is not without dangers; see http://tiny.cc/povlnw
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At Educause, a discussion about OER | Inside Higher Ed | Steve Kolowich

At Educause, a discussion about OER | Inside Higher Ed | Steve Kolowich | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"MOOCs are on the tip of everyone’s tongue here at the annual Educause meeting, presumably because of their scale and the technologies their recent champions have built to support that scale.
But in his opening keynote, Clay Shirky, an author and assistant professor at New York University, said the most provocative aspect of MOOCs is not their massiveness; it is their openness."

 

Comment: The article continues by examing the terms of service of Coursera, Udacity and edX, and 'discovers' that the materials used in MOOCs may only be used for informal learning. The moment they become part of "any tuition-based or for-credit certification or program for any college, university, or other academic institution", you need the express consent of the MOOC provider (quote from Coursera's license). Consequently, any talk about using MOOCs in developing countries of for 'flipping' classrooms should be prefaced by 'but see our terms of service' first. MOOCs, we should conclude and emphasize, are not open in the sense of open educational resources (OERs). (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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MOOCs on the Move: How Coursera Is Disrupting the Traditional Classroom - Knowledge@Wharton

MOOCs on the Move: How Coursera Is Disrupting the Traditional Classroom by Knowledge@Wharton, the online business journal of the Wharton School.

 

Comment: good, sensible interview with Coursera's Daphne Koller, about the difference between xMOOCs and traditional education, about credits and certificates, about (peer) assessment, about the business model. Intesting is her toned-down prediction for where Coursera will be in 10 years time: 

"I also think that in five to 10 years, from the perspective of the higher education ecosystem, people will look back on the 20th century and say, "I can't believe that we spent so much of our students' time shoveling them into auditoria and having them sit there for 75 minutes while somebody lectured at them." We will all clearly recognize that this is not the best form for getting people to learn material and use it effectively. I think our notion of what makes for a good education will shift drastically.

That's right, at least I hope, but that was not the question. I would have loved to hear what she thinks Coursera's or for that matter the MOOCs' role will have been in this. For if we let people watch the sage on the stage through a computer screen rather than in an auditorium, nothing has fundamentally changed. And that is what we need. And there may be room for MOOCs then, or not. (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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What is learning’s role? | Harold Jarche

What is learning’s role? | Harold Jarche | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Work is learning and learning is the work. I may have said this many times before but it is the essential change in how we must view knowledge-intensive and creative wo. ...k in a networked environment ... If today’s learning professionals want to remain relevant in the coherent organization, then they need to participate in collaborative and cooperative work/learning flows. This will be a sea change for the training & development profession, but I am certain it will happen with our without their participation.:

 

Comment: as the post already says, this is nothing new, although not everyone has got the message. The question about the role of learning professionals does remain interesting, though. That their role needs to change I am sure of, but I am not so sure they need _participate_ in the work/learning flows. If anything, they should operate at th design level and  be involved in creating apt conditions for these flows to occur - i.e designing, structuring, technologically instrument, supporting, maintaining, developing, etc. them. 

As an aside, compare the diagram with the one Joyce Seitzinger (@catspyjamasnz) published back on August 7 this year http://tiny.cc/lvwdnw, which got scooped here too. There are remarkable similarities, even though Joyce and Harold differ on the collaborative and cooperative. But that could be a matter of definitions. (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Times Higher Education - Teaching intelligence - This game is wide open | Tom Barfield

Times Higher Education - Teaching intelligence - This game is wide open | Tom Barfield | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Ultimately, it is this experimental aspect that remains the defining feature of this generation of Moocs. But whether or not Moocs establish themselves as a viable concern, it is likely that academics will continue to experiment with new ways of reaching students eager to study online."

 

Comment:Times Higher Education came up with this introductory piece on MOOCs. It has been  talking to some UK people who should have an informed opinion about this, such as Austin Tate, director of Edinburgh's Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute, who will teach the artificial intelligence planning course, and Martin Weller and Patrick McAndrew of the UK's Open University. They all point at the crucial but largely missing human support aspect of the current MOOCs.

As the quoted conclusions betray - academics will do what academics are good at, experiment a bit more - the article provides no deep insights, no novel ideas.  Actually, it rather adds to the confusion by (deliberately?) glancing over the distinction between xMOOCs and cMOOCs. (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Schools Matter: MOOC-ing Toward Epistemological Imperialism | Jim Horn

Schools Matter: MOOC-ing Toward Epistemological Imperialism | Jim Horn | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"The newest fad in digitized thought delivery is the MOOC (Massively Open Online Courses), and as soon as the politically-disinterested MIT engineers can hook up with the economically-rapacious profiteers of UofPhoenix, we are likely to see the "global economy" become underpinned by the new "global college". And just as the the global economy is about ferreting out the most vulnerable societies on Earth for exploitation, from production to consumption, the global college will be about stocking the cognitive shelves of tribesmen everywhere with the exceptionalist epistemologies that put ancient Greece at the Cognitive Creation and John Locke at the Modern Political Beginning, and Washington, DC as the site of the Second Coming of Adam Smith"

Peter B. Sloep's insight:

Compare this with a piece by the Washington Post on Elite Education for the Masses ( http://tiny.cc/wxt9mw ;). They sing the praise of MOOCs, in part because students such as "Patrycja Jablonska in Poland, Ephraim Baron in California, Mohammad Hijazi in Lebanon and many others far from Baltimore who ordinarily would not have a chance to study at the elite Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health" now can do. And this of course precisely illustrates Jim's point, which I myself much less eloquently made on July 30th of this year in a comment on a blog post by Dheeraj Sanghi, entitled "On why xMOOCs can't be exported". Dheeraj arguments were practical, where I would have expected them to be principled, as the ones Jim puts forth.

I have always wondered why a country such as the USA, that goes at great length to defend the universal right to freedom, shows so little respect for cultural diversity, which to me is an important if not the most important constituent of being free. Don't hasten to blame capitalism, see the interview with Unilever CEO ( http://tiny.cc/wxt9mw ;) Paul Polman to see how responsible entrepreneurship is congruant with high moral standards. Because morally responsible entrepreneurship is, in the final analysis, what this is about. (@pbsloep)

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The emergence of MOOCs: part 2 – The future of education and learning |Sui Fai John Mak

The emergence of MOOCs: part 2 – The future of education and learning |Sui Fai John Mak | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it
Following the emergence of MOOCs, What will be the future of education? Would it be based on the MOOC model, as I have explored last year? With the proliferation of MOOCs this year, MOOC providers ...

 

Comment: a collection of opinions on the MOOC phenomenon. The future is not with the xMOOC, but more with something akin to the cMOOC, would be my quick reading of John's line of argument: "The real revolution that we might anticipate in education would be a paradigm shift where education is about encouraging and supporting learners to develop themselves into creative, autonomous, independent and critical learners who could initiate their own questions, and to explore and implement their own solutions to their questions, in study, and life." And as ever, the question is of course how we achieve that lofty goal: how do we guide learners on their way to achieve this state of 'independent' learner? I agree, not by planning their learning life in the minutest details and effectively make them puppets on the teacher's string. But not either by leaving them completely to their own devices. So for me the question is one of designing a learning environment which is efficient and effective at helping learners become independent learners (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Did MOOCs Just Make Landfall? 10 Questions to Consider | Inside Higher Ed | Dayna Catropa & Margaret Andrews

Did MOOCs Just Make Landfall?   10 Questions to Consider  | Inside Higher Ed | Dayna Catropa & Margaret Andrews | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Like a storm, the higher education landscape is in a swirl and small pivots may produce large, important changes. We wonder whether this might be an early pivot . . . and potentially change who is in the path of the storm and who is considered safe – for now, until the next pivot."

 

Comment: this is about Antioch University (see scoop on October 29th ), which will license Coursera courses and pay back some of the fees that Antioch are going to charge to their students. Is this a landslide (to alter the metaphor) or isn't it? Time will tell, but in the meantime the authors have 10 incisive questions about the details of this kind of business model. (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Dark Social Analytics - Blog - Wolfgang Greller

"... a major part of web traffic (up to some 69%!) comes from social sharing that happens outside the well-known networks like facebook, google+, or twitter, and that this behaviour actually predates what we now call “the social web”. But how do we measure it and what can analytics contribute to a better understanding of this “dark social”?"

 

Comment: Networked learning is about being connected, it is through your connections with more knowledgeable others that you learn. You do so by communicating with them, directly or via the tags that they have left behind, which in turn provide access to relevant content. Communications with others are filtered, they have to be for otherwise you would have no way to discern promising contacts (and content) from the not so or not at all promising. The social web orks as a filter. After all, you are connected to only so may people. However, this article in the Atlantic Monthly http://tiny.cc/dee4mw ; points out the much bigger importance of the dark social web, which would account for 69% of all traffic. That is, not Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, but email, RSS feeds and similar. In the present blog post my colleague Wolfgang Greller summarises the article and explains we shouldn't be surprised that it is so much as 69%. What should surprise us that Facebook, Twitter and the like in the few years of their existence already have usurped 31%. (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them | eLearning | Rajagopal et al.

Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them | eLearning | Rajagopal et al. | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Networking is a key skill in professional careers, supporting the individual’s growth and learning. However, little is known about how professionals intentionally manage the connections in their personal networks and which factors influence their decisions in connecting with others for the purpose of learning. In this article, we present a model of personal professional networking for creating a personal learning network, based on an investigation through a literature study, semi–structured interviews and a survey."

 

Comment: admittedly, this is a plug for our own work, by Kamakshi Rajagopal. It was first published in FirstMonday earlier this year, now being picked up by elearningeurope.info. Gratifying and, in all honesty, I think it still makes for a good read (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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The future belongs to those who take charge of their own learning | Learning in the Social Workplace | Jane Hart

The future belongs to those who take charge of their own learning | Learning in the Social Workplace | Jane Hart | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Being “proactive” or “taking charge” of your own learning isn’t just about engaging in formal professional development activities though, or even participating in a few MOOCs (massive open online courses) or watching some inspirational videos from time to time, it’s also about recognizing that most of your real learning takes place continuously – and frequently unintentionally – in many other ways e.g.

• in your daily dealings with your colleagues, customers, clients or friends
• by being active in the fast moving flow of ideas and new resources being exchanged in your professional networks
• by keeping up to date with what’s happening in your industry or profession through a constant stream of industry news" 

 

Comments: Jane Hart has said it before, and many others with her. Still, it can't do no harm to reiterate the message in a world in which professional development by many still is equated with training (adopting the familiar school model), and in which life long learning is seen primarily as a responsibility of employers, obviating need to support individuals so they take charge themselves . (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university? | The Guardian | Carole Cadwalladr

Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university? | The Guardian | Carole Cadwalladr | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Publishing, music, shopping, journalism – all revolutionised by the internet. Next in line? Education. Now US academics are offering world-class tuition – free – to anyone who can log on, anywhere in the world, is this the end of campus life?"

 

Comment: A long but rich article about xMOOCs. Sebastian Thrun features large in the historical overview, which goes from Udacity to Coursera and edX. It touches upon the Open University and why they are not a viable alternative to MOOCs for many students (with £5000 per year too expensive), indeed why higher education in England with its fees of £9000 a year is giving the competition a field day. For education has become a market, Carole argues, and competition there is. How the MOOC providers would do the accreditation is of course an issue, but the people whom she talked to either are doing MOOCs for the fun of it, personal development etc, or are students who complain about the low quality of what their university offers to them and use the MOOC course as a complement. She concludes saying that  "These websites [of MOOCs] are barely months old. They're still figuring out the basics. Universities aren't going anywhere just yet. But who knows what they'll look like in 10 years' time? A decade ago, I thought newspapers would be here for ever. That nothing could replace a book."  (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Coursera praises MOOC-wrapping as they attempt to ban it | Hapgood | Mike Caulfield

" If [you] believe that OER reuse could save education, and  you’re looking for a reason for your institution to NOT sign up with Coursera, I guess it’s ... their terms of use"

 

Comment: follows an excerpt from the Coursera terms of use which essentially mean that reuse of their material for profit or not for profit requires their consent. And this of course puts Coursera co-founder Daphe Koller's praise of a professor who wrapped Coursera material to turn it into a course he could use himself, in an interesting light. As Mike comments: "We now get the business model". So, MOOCs are anything but open, as I already reported on November 8th, in the Educause piece.  (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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In a MOOC, you can eliminate the teacher factor | pcassuto

"A MOOC is a massive open online course, which means it’s a course format that has a lot of social media in it. It is based on a lot of dialogue, on discussions, on connecting to each other"

 

Comment: In a short interview, Athabasca's Inge de Waard explains about cMOOCs, which she calls the 'authentic MOOC". The interview is worth reading as she succincly describes what make these cMOOCs tick, she also emphasises how they may be useful in the corporate world. If you want to see her live, go to Brussels where she will give a presentation on 'MOOC integrating mixed media in informal training' at the Media and Learning conference, November 14-15 ( http://www.media-and-learning.eu ). (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Disruptive Pedagogies and Technologies in Universities | Terry Anderson and Rory McGreal

" This paper is a reaction to the increasing high cost of higher education and the resulting inaccessibility for the millions of potential learners now seeking opportunities for quality higher education opportunities. The paper examines the cost centers associated with campus-based and online education systems and then suggests that disaggregation may prove to be a cost-effective way to reduce tuition payments, while maintaining quality. The paper suggests that discount service models, now available to consumers in many industries may also be attractive in new models of higher education. The paper also briefly looks at the Open Educational Resources University initiative, a pilot, collaborative project attempting to test some of these innovations in a consortium of high quality, accredited public universities. Finally, we note both the disruptive characteristics of this model and commiserate opportunities for innovative providers of higher education."

 

Comment: The above abstract does not do justice to the richness of the paper. Its unique strength is that it looks at universities as providers of a service to students and society at large, notes that the costs of this service continue to rise, and wonders whether there may be a 'low cost, no frills' alternative way of providing this service (think low-cost airlines). First, it pleads to decouple research from teaching, research being a major cost factor. Then it pleads to replace the traditional offline teacher-student interaction by student-content (OERs) or student-student interactions (the Anderson equivalence theorem, which in mathematical terms should rather be termed a conjecture, holds that deep learning can already be sustained if only one of the three interaction types is well cared for). Of course, open universities, such as the Anderson and McGreal's own Athabasca university, have experimented with this long since. The authors conclude that "If both public campuses ['regular' universities] and online systems [open universities] do not adapt and move to exploit these network affordances, then it leaves a tremendous opportunity that can (and will) be filled by private, for profit entrepreneurs". And this is of course where the MOOC phenomenon comes in, which encompasses both experiments of universities (the cMOOC but also edX) and of (venture capitalist supported) entrepreneurs (Coursera, Udacity). Highly recommended! (peter sloep, @pbsloep) 

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ScienceGuide - Another MOOC-bottleneck solved [?] |ScienceGuide

ScienceGuide - Another MOOC-bottleneck solved [?] |ScienceGuide | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"22-year old mechanical engineering major Luis Tandalla (University of New Orleans) created an algorithm that improves computerized grading of short essays. With this invention Tandalla has tackled one of the major problems with online education: the grading of huge numbers of students. He won a $50.000 prize for this solution at the Kaggle competition site.

While it is easy to have thousands or even millions of students following an online course, it is extremely difficult to test these virtual students on a massive scale. Computers are of limited use when it comes to assessing students’ answers."

 

Comment: Almost sounds too good to be true. Would love to hear more about this. Is it based on good old latent semantic indexing or does he use a completely novel approach? Anyone? (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Connectivism in Practice — How to Organize a MOOC | peeragogy.org

Connectivism in Practice — How to Organize a MOOC | peeragogy.org | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are online learning events that can take place synchronously and asynchronously for months. Participants assemble to hear, see, and participate in backchannel communication during live lectures. They read the same texts at the same time, according to a calendar. Learning takes place through self-organized networks of participants, and is almost completely decentralized: individuals and groups create blogs or wikis around their own interpretations of the texts and lectures, and comment on each other’s work; each individual and group publicises their RSS feed, which are automatically aggregated by a special (freely available) tool, gRSShopper. Every day, an email goes out to all participants, aggregating activity streams from all the blogs and wikis that engage that week’s material. MOOCs are a practical application of a learning theory known as “connectivism” that situates learning in the networks of connections made between individuals and between texts."

 

Comment: This is an excellent description of how a cMOOC works, you know, the connectivist kind that tends to be forgotten in all the brouha about about xMOOCs. But the resource doesn't stop here, it also gives rather good guidelines for those who want to dip their feet into setting up a cMOOC themselves (peter sloep, @pbsloep)


Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Vladimir Kukharenko
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Everybody Wants to MOOC the World | e-Literate | Mark Feldstein

Everybody Wants to MOOC the World | e-Literate | Mark Feldstein | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Overall, while the xMOOCs may make noises about disruptive innovation, from a pedagogical perspective, they don’t fundamentally change the lecture-and-quiz model of the traditional classroom. And if we know that model doesn’t work particularly well for a class of 150 students, what makes us think it will work better for a class of 15,000?"

 

Comment: this is the conclusion of a useful analysis of Instructure's joining the fray of MOOC-platform providers. Before we get there, though, Mark takes apart the Instructure's claim that it will bring the MOOC to all schools, not just the elite institutions (see also my 2 November Scoop of Alisha Azevedo). They simultaneously assuage fears of non-elites to be shut out and tell them this MOOC thing isn't going to cut it anyway. Sounds like bet hedging, whith non-elite schools investing in Instructure as the victims. Second, he asks how disruptive this MOOC thing really is. Udacity claims it wants to be just that, Instructure says the opposite. Can we have it both ways with MOOCs? Mark thinks so. And finally then, should you get involved as fundamental questions about sustainability have not been answered yet. But most serious is of course the lack of pedagogical innovation Illich already argued for in the 70s and Roger Schank today again ( http://tiny.cc/wxt9mw ;): We need to get rid of the classroom! But what do we do? Talk about that very same classrooms-in-a-school model as a disruptive innovation. Perhaps in terms of funding and organisation of schools, but NOT in any deep educational terms (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Why your knowledge-sharing portal will probably not save the world | Kirsty Newman

"The Internet is littered with abandoned knowledge-sharing portals, so what questions do you need to ask before jumping in and setting up a new one? Kirsty Newman lists four questions to ask before setting up your knowledge sharing one-stop shop."

 

Comment: this prompted more questions than a simple comment allows me to phrase. In essence, I think what Kirsty says makes a lot of sense, also from the experience we have with setting up and maintaining learning networks. See for further details my blogpost at http://pbsloep.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/about-setting-up-learning-network.html

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David Garcia's comment, November 6, 2012 12:27 PM
Yes, a lot of questions. That I must answer, now that I have created a platform. Thank you.
Peter B. Sloep's comment, November 6, 2012 5:29 PM
Of course, don't get discouraged by these notes. It is just that the optimism that people will flock to a portal once it is there, is naive. But if a portal is the best choice, then so be it. My group built a portal for a group of public libraries in the Netherlands (www.biebkracht.nl) and it works, but also takes a lot of work to keep it working. Gilly Salmon's book on e-tivities contains some useful hints, but someone like Jenny Preece long time ago already hinted to this when she discussed lurking.
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The Big Three MOOC Providers | New York Times

The Big Three MOOC Providers | New York Times | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Coursera, Udacity and edX are defining the form, and themselves."

Comment: useful comparison of the three largest or at leat earliest xMOOC providers on such characteristics as number of courses available, assessment, social interaction, pacing. (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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Course-Management Companies Challenge MOOC Providers - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Alisha Azevedo

Course-Management Companies Challenge MOOC Providers - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Alisha Azevedo | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"Two software companies that sell course-management systems, Blackboard and Instructure, have entered the race to provide free online courses for the masses."

 

Comment: this was to be expected and it intensifies the pressure on universities to make money with their content, in spite of the lofty words of the CEO of Instructure: “EdX and Coursera and some of the other MOOC platforms are quite exclusive,” Mr. Coates said. “They only allow Ivy League schools or research institutions to participate. We see this as a democratization of MOOC’s—we want to allow anybody to participate in online learning, and we also want them to do it their way.” (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

 

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How In-Person Meetups Are Fixing The Problem With MOOCs | WiredAcademic | Paul Glader

"That’s the kind of long-term impact MOOCs could have if they begin to be connected and blended with in-person groups – meetups, libraries, community center learning centers, school study halls. Adding a “third place” for MOOCs goes beyond beating the isolation of online learning. Such a practice could also provide natural places for monitoring and proctoring of MOOC courses and exams, meaning MOOC-participating institutions could go a step closer to granting college credit for the courses."

Comment: a new take on MOOCs, not as a replacement for regular university education, but as catalyser of local groups who jointly work on the MOOC's assignment, but also start doing their own thing. Apparantly, this is a widespread thing already. The author feels this is back to university education as it started: students getting together and organising their own professors! (Peter Sloep, @pbsloep)
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The money pours in to fund online learning start-ups – while the public system starves | Tony Bates

The money pours in to fund online learning start-ups – while the public system starves | Tony Bates | Networked Learning - MOOCs and more | Scoop.it

"It is clearly the goal of the xMOOC companies such as Coursera and Udacity to go global with their offerings. This will be necessary to get a return on the capital invested. But where will these revenues come from? In the USA, it is clearly being diverted from the public education system. Will the same begin to happen in Canada or Europe or Africa as U.S. MOOCs spread?
The least we should know are the business models for getting their money back. Whose money will it be?"

 

Comment: No comment!! (peter sloep, @pbsloep)

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