While conversations in the academic world and the mass media continue to focus on the benefits, challenges, opportunities, and future of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), emerging empirical evidence suggests that the realities of open online learning do not fully match the hopes of open online learning (Veletsianos, 2013). One reason that these hopes remain unrealized appears to be the belief that education is a product that can be packaged, automated, and delivered. This perspective allows for massiveness and efficient delivery, but fosters the development of digital learning environments that fail to engender empowering and inspirational learning experiences. In this presentation, I discussed what our research into open learning experiences reveals about inspiration and empowerment.
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