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To MOOC or Not to MOOC - WorldWise

To MOOC or Not to MOOC - WorldWise
MOOCs have become a media obsession. Why? In part because they are the continuation of a story that has been around since at least the 1990s and the first days of magazines like Wired and Fast Company. I’d like to think that since then we’ve learned something. After all, universities have produced a substantial body of research that argues that information technology is not an epochal economy-changing technology. These sources must induce at least some suspicion about the wider claims concerning MOOCs, or massive open online courses. Why this obsession with MOOCs? Second, because it taps into a vein of middle-class anger over tuition costs. Third, because in a time of austerity, nations are searching for ways of reducing higher-education spending, and MOOCs can look like a silver bullet, making it all so much easier to cut and still feel good about it. Whatever the motivation, the most appropriate advice might be to calm down. And there is a historical irony about all this, too. Related:  MOOC'sMOOC

University of Leiden offers free online law course via Coursera | Dutch News Leiden University just became the first Dutch university to offer a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), entitled "The Law of the European Union: An Introduction," on online learning platform Coursera . Coursera was started about a year ago, and offers hundreds of online courses at top universities. The courses are free, have no entry requirements or preliminary examination, and therefore aim to make high quality education available to anyone with an internet connection. The course at Leiden will start in May 2013. The course will last 5 weeks and require a time investment of 5 to 8 hours per week. Practice questions and case assignments will enhance participants' understanding of the material, and they will be able to interact with each other on discussion forums. Leiden is also looking into new, advanced functionality on the Coursera platform, such as automated peer grading, which would allow students to assess each other’s written assignments via an automated and user-friendly process.

What Makes a MOOC Massive? Responding to a LinkedIn Discussion. When people ask me what makes a MOOC 'massive' I respond in terms of the *capacity* of the MOOC rather than any absolute numbers. In particular, my focus is on the development of a network structure, as opposed to a group structure, to manage the course. In a network structure there isn't any central focus, for example, a central discussion. Additionally, my understanding is that for the course to be a *course* it has to be more than just a broadcast. So what is essential to a course being a *massive* open online course, therefore, is that it is not based in a particular environment, isn't characterized by its use of a single platform, but rather by the capacity of the technology supporting the course to enable and engage conversations and activities across multiple platforms. In the first connectivist MOOC, for example, we have 170 individual blogs created by course participants (in Change11 we had 306 feeds). Why Dunbar's number?

HIST103: World History in the Early Modern and Modern Eras (1600-Present) This course will present a comparative overview of world history from the 17th century to the present era. You will examine the origins of major economic, political, social, cultural, and technological trends of the past 400 years and explore the impact of these trends on world societies. This course will be structured chronologically and thematically, with each unit focusing on a significant historical subject. The units will include representative primary-source documents and images that illustrate important overarching themes, such as the emergence of modern nation-states, the economic and technological interactions between Western and non-Western peoples, the changing social and cultural perceptions about religion and the state, and the development of physical and virtual networks of information exchange. This course is designed to align with Thomas Edison State College TECEP examination. Welcome to HIST103:World History in the Early Modern and Modern Eras (1600-Present).

Essay on how MOOCs raise questions about the definition of student Clay Shirky and Jay Rosen have popularized the phrase “People Formerly Known as the Audience” to describe the evolution of contemporary media consumers from mere listeners or viewers into interactive and demanding participants. A similar redefinition of roles is emerging in conversations about the consumers of massive open online courses. With a student-faculty ratio of, in some cases, 150,000: 1, the teacher of a MOOC may well struggle to define his or her relationship to an audience of course-takers who do and do not resemble traditional "students." In a recent Twitter exchange, media scholars Siva Vaidhyathan and Cathy Davidson debated the question of whether people enrolled in a MOOC are accurately described as “students.” @CathyNDavidson asked, "Are they really all 'students' or merely 'registrants'?" She later referred to Coursera’s total number of "course users" – but also described a Coursera course on bioelectricity as having "11,500 students."

A Quick Guide To The History Of MOOCs This Is How Students Use School Websites 8.45K Views 0 Likes It's important to have a proper appearance online. So why are there so many unhelpful school websites out there? This infographic shares what students want. Why TED Talks Have Become So Popular 5.67K Views 0 Likes TED talks are useful and free ways to bring high-level thinking and through-provoking ideas into the classroom and your home.

MOOCs and Historical Research At first glance one might imagine that the challenges presented by massive open online courses (MOOCs) have everything to do with teaching and nothing to do with historical research. Jeremy Adelman, writing in this same issue of Perspectives, discusses some of these challenges as he describes his experiment combining a Princeton University classroom with a global one, offered to students everywhere, via his world history MOOC. As Adelman shows, much remains to be seen about the viability of history MOOCs, but for the sake of speculative argument suppose that MOOCs are indeed the next big thing, for history as well as for other subjects. Suppose they succeed far beyond the scale of earlier dreams of distance education such as correspondence courses and public TV. What might that mean for historical research? Here I will offer two rival visions, one grim and one cheerful. If MOOCs send a gale of creative destruction through academia, it will affect some fields more than it will history.

Essay on what MOOCs are missing to truly transform higher education Here’s a question I’m asked more and more every day: When is Georgia Tech going to offer an undergraduate engineering degree online? It’s no surprise that this question is being posed. Universities around the country are having intense discussions about massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as they’ve come to be known. Late last year, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced MITx, an online learning platform offering free courses for anyone anywhere, Forbes hailed this development as a "game changer" in higher education. Although participants in such courses earn a "certificate of completion" rather than credit or a degree, hundreds of thousands of students around the world have already availed themselves of this opportunity to take online courses from a prestigious university at no charge. Since then, multiple universities have begun venturing into MOOCs. As with any new phenomenon, the experience of change and the promise of benefit create a measure of hyperbole.

MOOCs: The Myth Of Online Classrooms | INFO 203, Spring 2013 by Sandra Helsley, Ajeeta Dhole, Kate Rushton In The Myth of the Paperless Office, Sellen and Harper write, “For each limit, for each set of actions that paper prevents, there is a set of actions that it enables. In other words, each limitation is also an affordance.” MOOCs such as Coursera or Udacity provide open and (typically) free access to high-quality educational resources to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. However, analyses of MOOCs reveal many problems with the online format that may, in part, be attributed to their open-ended affordances. Aside from economics, the difference in completion rates between online and offline classes may be attributed in large part to the affordances of a physical classroom. The lack of physical presence also has implications for the quality of learning: in a traditional class, instructors may gauge the effectiveness of their teaching based on students’ facial expressions and body language.

MOOCs face challenges in teaching humanities Even as massive open online courses (MOOCs) continue to assume an increasingly prominent role in education, regularly enrolling thousands of students from around the world in classes taught by professors from dozens of universities, their rapid growth has sparked a backlash focused on the potential loss of diversity and interaction in education. In one such instance, the San Jose State University Department of Philosophy wrote an open letter in April to Harvard professor Michael Sandel, explaining their refusal to offer his edX course, Justice, as a part of their curriculum. “The thought of the exact same social justice course being taught in various philosophy departments across the country is downright scary—something out of a dystopian novel,” the letter read. “Departments across the country possess unique specialization and character, and should stay that way…Diversity in schools of thought and plurality of points of view are at the heart of liberal education.”

How NOT to Design a MOOC: The Disaster at Coursera and How to Fix it I don’t usually like to title a post with negative connotations, but there is no way to put a positive spin on my experience with the MOOC I’m enrolled in through Coursera, Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application. The course so far is a disaster, ‘a mess’ as numerous students have called it. Ironically, the learning outcome of the course is to create our own online course. To be fair, there are some good points to the course, but there are significant factors contributing to a frustrating course experience for students, myself included. Group Chaos There are three key factors contributing to this course calamity and all link to the group assignment. The course started Monday, January 28, 2013 and problems began on day one when participants were instructed to ‘join a group’. One comment from student in a threaded discussion titled ‘This is a mess’ which was started by another student. What happens When Group Work Goes Haywire Like this: Like Loading...

HigherEdTECH 2013 Making MOOCs Matter: Assessing, Certifying and Credentialing Learning

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