What is a MOOC? A MOOC integrates the connectivity of social networking, the facilitation of an acknowledged expert in a field of study, and a collection of freely accessible online resources. Perhaps most importantly, however, a MOOC builds on the active engagement of several hundred to several thousand “students” who self-organize their participation according to learning goals, prior knowledge and skills, and common interests. Although it may share in some of the conventions of an ordinary course, such as a predefined timeline and weekly topics for consideration, a MOOC generally carries no fees, no prerequisites other than Internet access and interest, no predefined expectations for participation, and no formal accreditation. Word that a MOOC will be offered typically spreads through an online social network. A central web address may be used to consolidate a registration process, outline the suggested course schedule, and provide a nexus for support and communication. Apart from this, however, just about anything goes. http://davecormier.com/edblog/wp-content/uploads/MOOC_Final.pdf [accessed: 07-11-11] Elizabeth Richmond
The course and resources are accessible and free, although any certification required may need to be paid for. You don’t necessary complete assignments, but engage and share with other participants; making connections with each other’s ideas and research using digital software and social networking, such as Blackboard Collaborate and Twitter. Elizabeth Richmond Taken from Dave Cormier’s YouTube video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW3gMGqcZQc&feature=related [accessed: 07-11-11] Shared online communication through digital practice
Some comments emerging from this blog about the ‘Change MOOC:
“ MOOCs have potential to empower and to expose participants to a relatively low structure, high volume of content and individualised learning experience.” I think you have it about right there – unfortunately many people seem to understand what is meant by a ‘course’ as something else and can get a rude awakening when confronted with the MOOC animal!
While our students have increasing access to networked environments, their levels of computer and information literacy are suspect. They also have different expectations e.g. wanting to be taught and to some extent “spoon-fed” or learning just to pass the examination.
although one “ registers ” for a MOOC most of us are not sufficiently prepared for a learning experience where participants themselves determine what they want to get out of it. I know there are some MOOCs (e.g. at Stanford) which are credit-bearing with predetermined outcomes and that most probably changes the level of participation and expectations.
http://lifehacker.com/201979/technophilia-get-a-free-college-education-online “ Free online college courses Grab some larnin' from the University of Washington 's free online courses; Greek mythology, American Revolution, Heroic Fantasy are just some of the offerings. If you get tired of that, you can study economics at the University of Nebraska. You can study theology at Covenant Seminary ; learn mathematics with this extensive list of free online math courses from Whatcom Community College. Visit Carnegie Mellon University and take Biology, Causal Reasoning, Statistics, and more, all for free. Penn State University offers a free Swedish language course , in addition to a free Hungarian language course. Or, you can take an Italian language and culture course from Brooklyn College ”. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/8707442/University-education-goes-online-with-virtual-courses.html “ University education goes online with virtual courses As British students face the daunting prospect of paying up to £9,000 a year for higher education, there are increasing opportunities to learn online for much less, and in many cases free. Earlier this month, Stanford University opened registration to its artificial intelligence course which is being offered free online to all. Previously, the university had offered only introductory notes to its Computer Science course free online. However, this pioneering move sees the university, which students from all over the world pay thousands to attend, sees offer a complete course free of charge. So far 53,000 people have signed up, including many from Britain. The online course consists of two online lectures a week, digital discussions and a weekly piece of homework that must be completed in order for all online students to pass. The explosion is about to happen”.
Feedback please: What do you think? How will it fit in with traditional methods of Higher Education? Are there any negatives to this teaching and learning methodology? Elizabeth Richmond