MOOCs Weekly
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eLearning News: Is MOOC more than just a buzzword?

Is the hype around Massive Open Online Courses a Trojan horse in the global higher education debate?


When I first pitched my blog series, Postcards from the Participatory, I intended it to be a collection of narratives exploring Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from the inside. I was engaged in the almost year-long #change11 MOOC, and I wanted to explore how the experience intersected with – and departed from – my teaching and learning within university walls. I thought the series might share a few stories about the resonances and challenges of participatory education, and explore the implications of distributed learning networks for conventional higher education. Basically, I thought it was time for higher education to start thinking about MOOCs.

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Monetising MOOCs

I've just had an email from the organiser of a free online course that I took (but I never watched or read any of the materials at all). It was borderline spam: it was an advert for the book he was about to launch.

 

Is that the future of the MOOC, then? Someone using it simply to get a mailing list for his next publication? If it is, I' not sure how I feel about that. I'm not convinced that a marketing campaign is the correct motivation for someone to write a coherent and (crucially) academically rigorous higher education course.

 

The warnings were there earlier, though. Coursera (before they were so-named) were at once point advertising an entrepreneurship course called Lean LaunchPad, but these guys eventually jumped ship and climbed aboard with Thrun's Udacity... presumably for commercial reasons. Yes, the course started out as Stanford course, but the name strikes me as more than a little...trademarky. Isn't real higher education supposed to be generic? Aren't we supposed to present a moderately broad and balanced view of the whole area of study, and not hone in one one specific methodology to the exclusion of all others?

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MOOCs: A New Way to Train Your Cat

MOOCs: A New Way to Train Your Cat | MOOCs Weekly | Scoop.it

MOOC fever has broken out,  infecting the insular and sheltered world of academia and spreading to the vulnerable population at large. Symptoms include a feeling of generalized urgency (Audrey Watters calls this FOMO), a paradoxical desire to monetize free and open content, and a susceptibility to buzzwords and confident-sounding prognostication.

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The MOOC Newsletter

Welcome to the MOOC Newsletter. Produced by Stephen Downes, this newsletter brings you information and resources from the world of MOOCs once a day every day. Looking for MOOCs?

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