02 mars 2013

MOOCs and Digital Diploma Mills: Forgetting Our History

Pragmatism over zeal – aut inveniam viam aut faciam. When David Noble first published his groundbreaking critique of online education in 1998, Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education, I thought to myself “he couldn’t be more wrong.” As it turns out he might not have been wrong – maybe Noble was simply so miraculously prescient that I couldn’t see what he saw. Fifteen – count them, fifteen – years later, Digital Diploma Mills reads as if it were researched and written about the current phenomenon called “MOOCs.” Entire paragraphs from the essay can be read unaltered and applied precisely to the state of things today:
What is driving this headlong rush to implement new technology with so little regard for deliberation of the pedagogical and economic costs and at the risk of student and faculty alienation and opposition? A short answer might be the fear of getting left behind, the incessant pressures of “progress”. But there is more to it. For the universities are not simply undergoing a technological transformation. Beneath that change, and camouflaged by it, lies another: the commercialization of higher education. For here as elsewhere technology is but a vehicle and a disarming disguise. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:13 - - Permalien [#]


The 3 Ms, quality and instructional design of MOOCs

Wordle: Stephen Downes @ Learnx 09The 3 Ms of MOOCs are Mission, MOOCs and Money. The fundamental questions boards should be asking include:
- Why are we online? Is the movement to or expansion of online education consistent with the institutional mission? Does and will it serve and advance the institutional mission? Or is the key issue in the discussion about online education—including any conversations about MOOCs—money?
- How do we assess quality—that of our own online offerings and those of others, including the MOOCs?
- What will it take to achieve our objectives in terms of online learning—including human and financial capital, content expertise, the political will to change, and many other concerns?
Quality in online education, in particular MOOCs might be defined differently from those quality in classroom education, with a face-to-face teaching environment. What is quality of MOOC from the perspective of educators, learners, and employers?
Quality is defined as conformance to requirements (Philip B. Crosby) (slide on Cost of Quality as Driver of Quality Improvement).  Have the cost of conformance and non-conformance been examined and analysed in MOOCs?  What are the “true cost” of MOOCs in the quality equation? Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:09 - - Permalien [#]

e-Learning sources and MOOCs

My Education PathThis site helps you navigate in e-Learning sources and MOOCs. We try to systematize information about MOOC education. You can use this service to find MOOCs, online courses, share comments and reviews.
Our mission is to help people to build a personal education path using free or cheap online courses as alternative to traditional higher education. We help to find free alternatives to expensive college/university courses.
Paths are consructed with MOOCs and online courses from the directory. Browse all MOOCs Paths Directory. Read more about Paths. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:06 - - Permalien [#]

The Disruption Higher Ed Doesn’t See Coming (and how it could respond, even lead, but probably won’t)

By sleslie. No, not MOOCs. Badges. Ok, now that you’ve stopped laughing (I admit, even I have a hard time not dismissively thinking of the sleeves of my Cub Scout shirt when I hear the term) let me explain why badges, as they mature beyond where they are currently, have the potential to disrupt formal education in a way that none of the technology innovations we’ve seen in the last couple of decades have.
Over those two decades, essentially the duration of my working life so far, every time I have tried to explain the magnitude of the disruptions (and the amount of potentials) that the network presents to formal education institutions (especially post secondary ones) the trump card interlocuters ALWAYS bring out to minimize the potential threat is “Accreditation.” Regardless of how many people are learning with each other, for free, in communities online, or the skyrocketing costs of formal ed, or how poorly the 4 year residential model serves an increasingly unconventional student body, or how the educational practices in many higher ed classrooms have barely moved out of the 19th Century, when met with the prospect that the value of a University degree is under threat and that their “market” will get as disrupted as the newspaper business, or travel agencies, etc., the response is simply “yeah, but we’re the only one who can issue degrees that people trust.” But I believe badges hold the potential to disrupt this. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:01 - - Permalien [#]

The End of the (MOOC) World is Nigh

By Matt Crosslin. Anyone remember Second Life? It started off as a bleeding edge tool that a few educators experimented in. Then it exploded in popularity, with proponents calling it a “game changer” and the “future of online learning.” Then people started questioning whether it was really that big of a deal. In no time you had two diametrically opposed camps set up: one that thought Second Life was a pointless waste of time, and another that started telling people that questioned it that it was here to stay and that they should get over it and move on. Then before you knew it…. Second Life completely disappeared out of the conversation – almost overnight.
Isolated incident? What about Google Wave? Same cycle (even though it was forced to be a bit under the radar at first because of the restricted access imposed by Google). Once people started dividing and taking extreme sides…. poof. It died.
That is pretty much the cycle you see with many education tools and concepts. Under-the-radar experimentation gives way to mass exposure and hype, which brings out people that question the hype, which devolves into rigid camps and opposing sides, and finally ending with the quick death of the tool or idea. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:58 - - Permalien [#]

FutureLearn: pedagogical & mLearning MOOC platform - the approach

Inge Ignatia de WaardBy Inge Ignatia de Waard. For all of you out there wanting to push your government into setting up a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform gathering knowledge from all your national universities, take a look at the approach of UK’s open university on planning a MOOC platform, it looks very promising. Ever since I was 9 years old I have watched school television on BBC where the Open University UK rolled out wonderfully rich and comprehensible visual content. At age 10 I could understand and speak basic English thanks to them (Dutch being my mother tongue). Now, as in a dream come true I am researching right at the center of that same institution and … even bigger news: they are starting up their own MOOC platform, the so called FutureLearn ! So ok, I am a bit enthusiastic here - read subjective - but after hearing yesterday’s introduction focusing on the pedagogical and design plans of the FutureLearn MOOC platform from Mr UK-MOOC himself – Mike Sharples – I gladly list why I think FutureLearn starts with an advantage and could become a strong contender to the already existing xMOOC platforms out there (EDx, Udacity, Coursera...). Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:56 - - Permalien [#]

The changing role of L&D: from “packaging” to “scaffolding” plus “social capability building”

soccapI have been been talking to a number of different organisations recently about the future of the L&D department and in doing so have been building on the diagram I shared in a recent post - where I illustrated how the function of the department is expanding into the new areas of performance support, as well as supporting social collaboration and personal learning.
I think there are a number of additional factors involved which are not that clear in that diagram – and that is how the future is about moving on from a focus on organizing others’ learning by “packaging” up lots of content, delivering it to them “on a plate”, and then managing access to it all. Rather the future is going to be more about “scaffolding“.  I mean by this, working in partnership with the relevant team or group in the organization to help to provide a framework – ie the infrastructure (platforms, tools etc) as well as the right conditions for learning and performance support and improvement to take place.
And furthermore, rather than trying to design, create, deliver or even “control” what happens there, there is also a need for a focus on “building the new personal and social capabilities” that are are going to be required by the new “connected workers”, in order for them to work and learn effectively in the digitally connected workplace. So I’d like to share with you another diagram I have been working on, to show what all this means in practice. Behind each of the coloured areas there is obviously much more detail, illustrated by case studies and examples – which I’ll talk more about in subsequent posts. But in the meantime if you are interested in the area of social capability building, take  a look at the Connected Worker site. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:53 - - Permalien [#]