Monday, December 20, 2010

What's wrong with MOOCs?

George Siemens asks "what's wrong with MOOCs?" The premise is that MOOCs are so intrinsically interesting/enjoyable/fascinating that all participants will push aside all other activities and responsibilities and devote themselves to the MOOC. MOOCs by nature of their openness and willingness to embrace technology are more engaging. However it seems that isn't true for everyone. There is a high dropout rate. The plethora of tools used can be confusing. Even though making social connections is key, many participants feel lost, disconnected, uneasy about having their say. Comments on this piece mentioned language barriers and time zone issues. In some cases the MOOC may be achieving results that can't be tracked. Some posters indicate that at least some participants are using lessons learned. George is concerned that there is over-reliance on the instructors as experts. Hmmm...What if it turns out that "course" with a start/stop date, some specified software, some content (readings/media) experienced by the entire group - with students providing some artifacts (i.e. papers, discussion threads, blog postings, videos, etc.) that are indicative of learning is OK structure?

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