Thoughts from interview
in which George Siemens and Dave Cormier are interviewed by Martin Weller, about a range of issues concerning MOOCs.
- The basis of thinking about MOOCs are not necessarily to criticise the idea of MOOCs from a personal, or first world, perspective, as it seems many do, but instead to take the approach that if Universities around the world really are willing to publish courses open to students from everywhere then just this should be celebrated.
- One of the major issues is the perception that a business model has to be attached to the MOOC. It seems, to the speakers, that as soon as this happens the MOOC loses its focus and purpose.
- The technology and presentational methods of MOOCS need to continue to be innovated; it is not enough to throw another MOOC onto Coursera (or anywhere else) and consider the job done. (They all pointed to DS106 as an example of where this didn’t occur).
- Burn out of staff delivering the course. Interesting idea that as staff energy flags, so does student participation and this can be mapped! They talk about around twenty people being an optimum number for a massive course. My experience certainly is that the Moodle MOOC I attended which had at least 10 people working solidly during the MOOCs window, was more successful than those where there was only one or two visible “leaders”.
Thoughts from Maturing the MOOC
Conflicting perspectives on MOOCs divide education communities
Split between “elite” universities (in the US) who are keen to explore the potential of MOOCs (and are able to do so financially) and smaller universities who don’t have the same kind of resources.
Learning Practitioners disagree about the value of MOOCs
Though MOOCs could be innovative, they also can be seen as packaging over content. The format itself has many issues that are yet to be resolved.
Formal comprehensive analyses of MOOCs mostly concur that they are disruptive and possibly threatening to current HE models
Dramatic change is imminent :), so say various government think tanks.
Reporting of MOOC learner experiences is positive
Even though many don’t complete the courses on offer this doesn’t mean that they are not positive about their experiences. Nevertheless there is little data to support this.