Here's a thought experiment, if there were no students fees and higher education were free, what would that do to MOOCs? I mean, obviously it'll never happen... oh, wait, Germany just abolished student fees.
On a global level, higher education policies appear to show two tendencies: more public funding leading to cheaper enrollment fees (Germany, Finland) vs. less public funding and higher tuition fees (UK, US, Netherlands). It is interesting to reflect on how these tendencies affect the future of MOOCs...
Is this part of the Hype cycle? Teaching staff are concerned that the offering of massive online courses (MOOCs) is too far removed from their core business and unique position (e.g. discussion based learning). Or: can networked learning really substitute in-depth face-to-face learning?
I like the analysis part, but not so much the normative organisational design part. I don't feel you can have general one-size-fits-all recipes for getting the most out of social media within business. Creativity, serendipity and innovation are crucial, but very hard to 'design' or plan.
New research shows that the multitude of digital devices and social media actually help people work rather than hinder them.
Steven Verjans's insight:
Note: the researchers state: "knowledge workers who were able to successfully deal with the timing and sequence of their ‘presence’ and responses in a digitally mediated workplace were better able to organise the flow of work through digital media.” The crux of the matter seems to be in being able to effectively and efficiently deal with online presence.
Want to do an Internet video call with up to nine other people, with reliable audio and video, plus the option to make it public and record the entire event? Google+ Hangouts do a better job than any other solution we've tried, for free.
The media and education worlds have been buzzing over the last few days about the work of a quiet, unassuming Indian born professor. Born in Calcutta in 1952, Sugata Mitra started his academic career in computational and molecular science. His later research also encompassed biological science and energy storage systems. Mitra has also researched diversely into areas such as medicine (Alzheimer’s disease and memory research) and psychology (perception in hypermedia environments) and he received a PhD in Physics for his studies into organic semi-conductors. It is not hard to see why some have hailed him as a polymath and even ‘something of a genius’. Most recently, Professor Mitra won the prestigiousTED prize of 1 million US dollars acknowledgement of his work setting up computer kiosks in developing rural areas, and for his studies into ‘minimally invasive education’. He is now Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, in the North East of England. I managed to catch up with him to interrupt his busy schedule for a brief interview ahead of his keynote at the EDEN 2013 Oslo conference.
My own view: Most schools that I know in Belgium and The Netherlands apply a mix of progressive and conservative ideas, even though the teacher-centric paradigm seems to be prevalent. Any contribution that tries to shake up this situation is welcome, but it should be supported by more than just anecdotal evidence.
In this talk I discuss what will be coming 'After Moodle' by means of a discussion of open learning, connectivism, and personal learning environments, including See it on Scoop.it, via Connectivism and Networked Learning...
Publication by our colleagues of the Open University. "Ad-hoc transient groups (AHTGs) seem to foster social capital on the level of relationship characteristics and mutual support. Results on sense of connectedness were inconclusive. It is concluded that AHTGs have a decentralising effect, making the network less dependent on a few key participants." Now my question is, within the Social capital way of thinking, whether connectedness is the key to long-term learning partnerships, or whether transience is an integral part of networked learning. In other words, what's the value of investing in long-term learning connections?
I guess we all knew the MOOC bubble would burst sometime, but I'm saying it's happened this week - it just doesn't know it yet. The reason? Commercial MOOC providers have started making noises about becoming elearning courseware providers for...
Steven Verjans's insight:
The hype cycle at work. Question now: how to align MOOCs with your institutional learning strategy?
Is it inappropriate to take the word ‘dropout’ from one context and stamp it upon another? With MOOCs I’d call it a category mistake, when a word is used to mean one thing (pejoratively) in the context of a long school, college or University course, then applied with the same pejorative force to a very different type of learning experience
While Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) may allow free education on an enormous scale, one of the biggest criticisms raised about MOOCs is that although thousands enrol for courses, a very small proportion actually complete the course. The release of information about enrollment and completion rates from MOOCs appears to be ad hoc at the moment - that is, official statistics are not published for every course. This data visualisation draws together information about enrollment numbers and completion rates from across online news stories and blogs.
I tend to agree with Inge (@Ignatia) that MOOC's may be instrumental in (re-)shaping continuous professional development, rather than substituting complete initial academic degrees (Bachelor or Master). Another opportunity is that MOOCs act as elective courses in full academic programmes, and thus enable virtual student mobility. Students can then extend their learning network during their initial study.
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