1. The messy realities of MOOCs
Dr. George Veletsianos
Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning & Technology
School of Education and Technology
Royal Roads University
American Library Association
January 26, 2014
2. MOOCs are a phenomenon
• The MOOC phenomenon is a symptom.
– Economic pressures
– Political pressures
– Privatization pressures
– Educators’ failures to create their own solutions
for educational problems
– Belief that technology provides the solutions
– Lack of impact of “educational technology”
3. What happens “on the ground” with
• No single narrative can describe what happens in
open learning environments
4. What happens “on the ground” with
• Learners report benefiting from open course
participation (Hilton, Graham, Rich, & Wiley, 2010)
• Learners face a number of obstacles (Mackness
et al, 2011)
• Learners motivations vary (e.g., exploring topics
• We lack an evidence-based understanding of
experiences with all open forms of learning/
5. What is it like to participate in open online learning?
Veletsianos, G. (2013). Learner Experiences with MOOCs and Open Online Learning. Hybrid Pedagogy. Retrieved on Sept
29, 2013 from http://learnerexperiences.hybridpedagogy.com.
– questioned institutional/instructor commitment,
– identified a need for improved instructional design,
– praised responsive MOOC instructors,
– criticized instructors who were not visible,
– valued course flexibility and denounced course rigidity,
– appreciated the opportunities for open learning.
• The realities of open online learning are different
from the hopes of open online learning.
7. Some key considerations
• MOOCs vary considerably
– In length
– In learning design
– In learner participation/roles, learner support
– In innovative practices
• Key questions to ask
– Why offer a MOOC?
– How is our offering building on existing
– What do we want the learner experience to
8. Thank you!
@veletsianos on Twitter