I had to drop out of the Learn.Moodle MOOC early on (I find it very hard to just dabble). I was involved in a month of pretty intensive workshops. Lo and behold some of the guys in the workshop were distracted (very distracted) because of some other MOOC on "Assessment in Higher Education" (a UPenn initiative)
I've had to think a little about MOOCs and what I believe. Which will change of course.
While pondering I came across this video from Dave Cormier, from nearly three years ago:
It is interesting to me how some things have changed, and some things have not. Dave's video focuses on networking, course (time delimited), free ranging, offered by an institution, distributed knowledge, own spaces.
I think that presentation was based on his experiences from the first MOOC (he was one of the tutors along with George Siemens and Stephen Downes) http://change.mooc.ca/ Since then Stephen Downes has differentiated between this style of MOOC, which he calls "cMOOC" (c = connectivist), and what Coursera, EdX, et al have been doing, which he calls "xMOOC."
Personally, I can't see any substantial differences between xMOOCs and traditional online distance learning courses, apart from higher enrolment numbers, and therefore less dedicated learner support and moderation. The xMOOCs that I've seen have no effective model for providing coherent instructional scaffolding (See Vygotsky's ZPD). MOOCs are for "expert learners" who no longer need instructional scaffolding for what they are studying, e.g. some MAs and PhDs, post-docs, seasoned academics, and other autodidacts. We could also argue that it would be more effective for such expert learners to join communities of practice (Like the Moodle.org community) to pursue their professional development and/or studies, especially if they can include face to face sessions (SIGs, conferences, meetups, guest speakers, etc.); we're still social animals after all.
Like the curtains in this lounge-aren't any in the forum I usually frequent, so thought I would join you social animals
Matt, an insightful post. I agree on nearly all fronts...thanks ever so much for posting, you got me thinking. I include an alternative proposition with regard to 'expert learner' , but I do not claim to be right-could be wrong, just a proposition.
Underpinning Kant's enlightenment definition of genius, in 'Critique of Judgement', is that the genius is able to discover difficult ideas/concepts by one's self. The inference is that some individuals can be inherently more creative than others. My view on this compares with the notion of 'expert learner': a myth.
Even though some peeps might be able to pick up stuff quick, catch on, make sense of stuff on their own, or draw upon trained thought- due to PG study, I think during any learning situation the learner always bounces ideas of others, sometimes without realising. Consequently, this can enhance self regulatory thought/higher mental functioning...ergo the dialogues between people can enhance the quality of dialogue with self (Vygotsky, Bakhtin).
Examples of such application can be seen in group/collaborative/communites of practice types of learning, and so it goes, possibly MOOCs. As an aside, according to Tara Brabazon (Times Higher Ed, 11 July, 2013) there can be some seasoned academics who survive on the back of their students pubs!
Again, sterling post Matt
Prof Delores Umbridge (aka Harry Potter)