HASTAC Admin. FemTechNet, a network of feminist scholars and educators, is launching a new model for online learning at 15 higher education institutions this fall. The DOCC, or Distributed Open Collaborative Course,is a new approach to collaborative learning and an alternative to MOOCs, the massive open online course model that proponents claim will radicalize twenty-first century higher education. FemTechNet’sfirst DOCC course, “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology,” will launch fall 2013.
The DOCC model for 21st-century higher education recognizes and is built on the understanding that expertise is distributed throughout a network, among participants in diverse institutional contexts. This model explicitly departs from the typical MOOC approach organized around the delivery of information from an “expert” faculty (or a pair of instructors) to the uninformed "masses." The organization of a DOCC emphasizes learning collaboratively in a digital age by enabling the active participation of all kinds of learners (as teachers, as students, as media-makers, as activists, as trainers, as members of various publics and/or social groups). By virtue of its reach across institutions and learning sites, the DOCC also enables the extension of classroom experience beyond the walls, physical or virtual, of a single institution.