MOOCs: How did we
George Siemens
get here?
Nov 6, 2013
1.Bit of history
2.Bit about current state
3.Bit of angst
4.Bit of hope
1.Bit of history
2.Bit about current state
3.Bit of angst
4.Bit of hope
The core components of the current design (used for
my Fall 2007 Intro to Open Ed course) include:
• Running everything in...
Openness and transparency
created a space of innovation and
ability to build on what others were
doing
An alternative to
Institutional controlled technologies
Monolithic self-contained/locked-in platforms
Transmission pedagog...
Wheels

Steam

Viability

Motion

Transportation need
Entrepreneurship

Scientific progress

Metal workers:
cylinders
“a thousand threads that lead from
the locomotive to the very beginning
of the modern world”
Rosen, 2010
“The process may be more like
stitching together known parts than
pioneering a complete route from
scratch”
W. Bryan Arthu...
Simply:
We need open, accessible,
buildable, improvable, extendable,
remixable,
content, curriculum, pedagogy, and
learnin...
http://edutechnica.com/moocmap/
http://edutechnica.com/moocmap/
But it’s not all new
Distance Education
“Composition through the medium of the post”
1833
(see Simonson et al, p. 37)

Frederick Jackson Turner...
CTV: 1966-1983
Degree-level courses
University partnerships
Delivered 6:00-9:00 am
Continental Classroom

NBC: 1958-1963
1.Bit of history
2.Bit about current state
3.Bit of angst
4.Bit of hope
So, why MOOCs? Why now?
MOOCs:

A supply-side answer to decades of
change in demand-side learning
needs
McKinsey Quarterly, 2012
Increasing diversity
of student profiles

The U.S. is now in a position when less than
half of students could be considere...
Favours women over men
More learners as % (up to 60%)
Average entrance age increasing
Top three countries for entering stu...
What is happening in MOOC
research?
Phase 1 Stats
266 total submissions
37 countries represented
Top countries:
- USA
- Canada
- China
- UK
- Spain
- Australi...
Phase 2 Stats

78 total submissions
15 countries represented
Top Countries:
- USA
- Canada
- UK
- China
- Australia
Methodologies per field
Final selection
MOOC platforms represented:
-

Coursera: 12
edX: 4
Multiple: 5
Non-Major: 6

Countries: 4 (USA, Canada, UK...
1.Bit of history
2.Bit about current state
3.Bit of angst
4.Bit of hope
What worries me about MOOCs
(and whatever follows after)
1. Most MOOCs don’t prepare
learners to create, generate,
solve, innovate
We need stuff that stirs the soul.
(learning to ...
What should MOOCs do?
a. Respond to learning needs of society that
universities are missing
b. Prepare learners for comple...
We are not getting the “type of
learning” that we need for the types
of challenges that we (society)
faces
2. Openness is being lost
“Easy” will usually win over open and
complex
What happened
between here
MIT OpenCourseWare makes the
materials used in the teaching of
almost all of MIT's subjects available
on the Web, free of ...
and here?
All content or other materials available on the Sites,
including but not limited to code, images, text, layouts,
arrangeme...
or here
All of our educational
content can be reused
according to the Creative
Commons licensing that
we have adopted and
where th...
and here?
The Online Content and Courses
IPR is protected to the fullest
extent possible by copyright laws.
All such rights are rese...
3. Lack of Innovation
Settling too soon on pedagogies and models
(normalizing to edX/Coursera).
Once we have a revenue model, future
innovation ...
What about a revenue/business
model?

Who cares.
What about high dropout rates?

Who cares.
Still trying to define the new system
by the metrics and methods of the
old
4. MOOC providers disconnected
from existing learning sciences &
related research communities
-The efficacy of online learning
-The importance of retrieval and testing for learning
-Mastery Learning
-Peer assessments...
1.Bit of history
2.Bit about current state
3.Bit of angst
4.Bit of hope
Today in education, we are witnessing
an unbundling of previous network
structures.
And a rebundling of new network lock-i...
MOOCs are a keystone concept in
reformulating education models
and creating new ecosystems
But the landscape can still be
shaped
MOOCs
Now reach 7+ million learners
(side note, over 21 million distance learners)

Hundreds of millions of $$ invested
Hu...
MOOCs as generative,
knowledge-building learning is not
yet lost
Downes, 2013 (Antalya, Turkey presentation)
Conference
December 5-6, 2013
University of Texas Arlington
http://www.moocresearch.com/
Twitter/Gmail:
gsiemens
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
Open Education 2013
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  • http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/elearningcourse.htm
  • http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/OE_presentation.htm
  • http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/why_we_should_share.htm
  • http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/514
  • http://educationaltechnology.ca/couros/739
  • http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2008/06/12/connectivism-and-connective-knowledge/
  • http://bavatuesdays.com/ds106-as-an-open-and-online-experiment/
  • http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/photolib/transport/Steam%20Locomotive%20-%20The%20Rocket%20(PD).htm
  • http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/photolib/transport/Steam%20Locomotive%20-%20The%20Rocket%20(PD).htm
  • W. Bryan Arthur: Th structure of invention (Sante Fe Institute)
  • http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/index3.html?url=http%3A//www.broadcasting-history.ca/programming/television/programming_popup.php%3Fid%3D1925
  • https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Economic_Studies/Productivity_Performance/Preparing_for_a_new_era_of_knowledge_work_3034
  • http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-14.pdf
  • http://www.oecd.org/edu/skills-beyond-school/EDIF%202013--N%C2%B015.pdf
  • http://www.tonybates.ca/2013/10/23/is-there-a-future-for-distance-education/
  • Open Education 2013

    1. 1. MOOCs: How did we George Siemens get here? Nov 6, 2013
    2. 2. 1.Bit of history 2.Bit about current state 3.Bit of angst 4.Bit of hope
    3. 3. 1.Bit of history 2.Bit about current state 3.Bit of angst 4.Bit of hope
    4. 4. The core components of the current design (used for my Fall 2007 Intro to Open Ed course) include: • Running everything in the open
    5. 5. Openness and transparency created a space of innovation and ability to build on what others were doing
    6. 6. An alternative to Institutional controlled technologies Monolithic self-contained/locked-in platforms Transmission pedagogies
    7. 7. Wheels Steam Viability Motion Transportation need Entrepreneurship Scientific progress Metal workers: cylinders
    8. 8. “a thousand threads that lead from the locomotive to the very beginning of the modern world” Rosen, 2010
    9. 9. “The process may be more like stitching together known parts than pioneering a complete route from scratch” W. Bryan Arthur, 2006
    10. 10. Simply: We need open, accessible, buildable, improvable, extendable, remixable, content, curriculum, pedagogy, and learning systems
    11. 11. http://edutechnica.com/moocmap/
    12. 12. http://edutechnica.com/moocmap/
    13. 13. But it’s not all new
    14. 14. Distance Education “Composition through the medium of the post” 1833 (see Simonson et al, p. 37) Frederick Jackson Turner: U of Wisc: correspondence late 1800 Anna Eliot Ticknor: Society to Encourage Studies at Home, 1873
    15. 15. CTV: 1966-1983 Degree-level courses University partnerships Delivered 6:00-9:00 am
    16. 16. Continental Classroom NBC: 1958-1963
    17. 17. 1.Bit of history 2.Bit about current state 3.Bit of angst 4.Bit of hope
    18. 18. So, why MOOCs? Why now?
    19. 19. MOOCs: A supply-side answer to decades of change in demand-side learning needs
    20. 20. McKinsey Quarterly, 2012
    21. 21. Increasing diversity of student profiles The U.S. is now in a position when less than half of students could be considered fulltime students. In other words, students who can attend campus five days a week nine-to-five, are now a minority. (Bates, 2013)
    22. 22. Favours women over men More learners as % (up to 60%) Average entrance age increasing Top three countries for entering students: China, India, USA Traditional science courses waning in popularity Greater international student OECD 2013
    23. 23. What is happening in MOOC research?
    24. 24. Phase 1 Stats 266 total submissions 37 countries represented Top countries: - USA - Canada - China - UK - Spain - Australia http://www.moocresearch.com/
    25. 25. Phase 2 Stats 78 total submissions 15 countries represented Top Countries: - USA - Canada - UK - China - Australia
    26. 26. Methodologies per field
    27. 27. Final selection MOOC platforms represented: - Coursera: 12 edX: 4 Multiple: 5 Non-Major: 6 Countries: 4 (USA, Canada, UK, Australia) Institutions: ~28
    28. 28. 1.Bit of history 2.Bit about current state 3.Bit of angst 4.Bit of hope
    29. 29. What worries me about MOOCs (and whatever follows after)
    30. 30. 1. Most MOOCs don’t prepare learners to create, generate, solve, innovate We need stuff that stirs the soul. (learning to code to optimize web clicks does not address society’s most pressing challenges)
    31. 31. What should MOOCs do? a. Respond to learning needs of society that universities are missing b. Prepare learners for complex knowledge activities to address growing and urgent needs of society Currently do a) but not b)
    32. 32. We are not getting the “type of learning” that we need for the types of challenges that we (society) faces
    33. 33. 2. Openness is being lost “Easy” will usually win over open and complex
    34. 34. What happened
    35. 35. between here
    36. 36. MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT's subjects available on the Web, free of charge. With more than 2,000 courses available, OCW is delivering on the promise of open sharing of knowledge.
    37. 37. and here?
    38. 38. All content or other materials available on the Sites, including but not limited to code, images, text, layouts, arrangements, displays, illustrations, audio and video clips, HTML files and other content are the property of Coursera and/or its affiliates or licensors and are protected by copyright, patent and/or other proprietary intellectual property rights under the United States and foreign laws.
    39. 39. or here
    40. 40. All of our educational content can be reused according to the Creative Commons licensing that we have adopted and where this logo is seen:
    41. 41. and here?
    42. 42. The Online Content and Courses IPR is protected to the fullest extent possible by copyright laws. All such rights are reserved.
    43. 43. 3. Lack of Innovation
    44. 44. Settling too soon on pedagogies and models (normalizing to edX/Coursera). Once we have a revenue model, future innovation will serve that model. (i.e. Google adwords)
    45. 45. What about a revenue/business model? Who cares.
    46. 46. What about high dropout rates? Who cares.
    47. 47. Still trying to define the new system by the metrics and methods of the old
    48. 48. 4. MOOC providers disconnected from existing learning sciences & related research communities
    49. 49. -The efficacy of online learning -The importance of retrieval and testing for learning -Mastery Learning -Peer assessments -Active learning in the classroom
    50. 50. 1.Bit of history 2.Bit about current state 3.Bit of angst 4.Bit of hope
    51. 51. Today in education, we are witnessing an unbundling of previous network structures. And a rebundling of new network lock-in models.
    52. 52. MOOCs are a keystone concept in reformulating education models and creating new ecosystems
    53. 53. But the landscape can still be shaped
    54. 54. MOOCs Now reach 7+ million learners (side note, over 21 million distance learners) Hundreds of millions of $$ invested Hundreds/thousands of academics involved Media exposure in mainstream publications Learning/education is now a prominent public conversation
    55. 55. MOOCs as generative, knowledge-building learning is not yet lost
    56. 56. Downes, 2013 (Antalya, Turkey presentation)
    57. 57. Conference December 5-6, 2013 University of Texas Arlington http://www.moocresearch.com/
    58. 58. Twitter/Gmail: gsiemens
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