MEET THE MOOCS MOOC • Massive • Open • Online • Course • Arguments about each part of the definition http://infocult.typepad.com/infocult/2008/07/connectivism-course-draws-night-or-behold-the-mooc.html WHERE DO MOOCS START? • Bryan alexander coined the term (Senior Fellow for the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education) • Part of a course on Connectivism CONNECTIVISM • “At its heart, connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks. Knowledge, therefore, is not acquired, as though it were a thing. It is not transmitted, as though it were some type of communication” • “…And while it is convenient to talk as though knowledge and beliefs are composed of sentences and concepts that we somehow acquire and store, it is more accurate -- and pedagogically more useful -- to treat learning as the formation of connections.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html THE CONNECTIVIST MOOC OR CMOOC • Aggregation/distribution • Remixing/Repurposing • Lack of boundaries, except maybe time • Emphasis on social • Producing information, tied usually through hashtags IMPLICATIONS OF CONNECTIVISM • Large number of participants is actually a feature, not a bug • “Sage on the stage” is less important because they represent only one connection • The process of navigating the course is just as important as the course itself CHALLENGES/CRITIQUES • Lots of education or meta courses • Validity of knowledge • Coherence • Eschewing of assessments (Can you drop out of a MOOC?) RISE OF THE “XMOOCS” • These are the most well-known of the bunch • So named because of edX • Difference between cMOOC and xMOOC can be problematic DEFINITION OF AN XMOOC • Massive • Video • Automated tasks • Discrete begin and end points(?) • Centered around a list of materials • “Crowd-sourced” feedback (some courses) THE MAJOR PLAYERS • Udacity • EdX • Coursera UDACITY • Started from Stanford AI class • Class was essentially offered as an xMOOC • Professor left Stanford; started Udacity • Focus on Math and Computer Science • Some high school courses offered as well FEATURES OF UDACITY • Videos with quizzes • Automated testing • Discussion forums • Optional certification test for a fee • Resume passed on to “partner companies” EDX • Cross-institution platform includes MIT, Berkeley and Harvard • Each site is an “_____x” COURSERA • For profit started by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford University • Initially a focus on Math and Computer Science CANVAS.NET • Instructure launches its own blogging platform • Aimed at being a more egalitarian MOOC CONTROVERSY THE PLACE OF THE PROFESSOR • Focus on • Performance • Big credentials • Abuse LEARNING • Cary Nelson, the outgoing president of the American Association of University Professors, said that online models such as Coursera – an online entity offering free courses from Stanford University, Princeton University, University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania – can be terrific for delivering educational materials to retirement homes, “where folks are unlikely to assume any social responsibilities for the ‘knowledge’ they have acquired.” Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/05/23/faculty-groups-consider-how-respondmoocs#ixzz1zZj2iaXo Inside Higher Ed PEDAGOGY • Little person-to-person interaction • What is there is students teaching themselves • “Sage on the stage” returns GRADING • Peer or automated grading • What’s the value? • Research is ongoing CERTIFICATES • Number awarded up 800% in the last 30 years • Concern about gender discrepancy • What do they mean for an employer? ACCESS • Survey of Machine Learning course • 20% were graduate students • Many white and male* • Many already had familiarity with the topic • Developing nations can’t afford the fees *Some criticism that applies to instructors as well CONTEXT • Helter-skelter catalog • Prior learning • Cultural imperialism • Misconceptions (11 year old and Game Theory) SUSTAINABILITY • High dropout rates (varies; around 80-90%) • What is the financial model for MOOCs? • Credits? Certificates? • Large up-front costs for delivery WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? QUESTIONS?