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Learning for free? MOOCs
Transcript of Learning for free? MOOCs
of scarce information Open education
tradition Global trends Students HE institutions Talent, content, platforms Un/readiness to learn
- independent learning as
outcome, not condition Widening participation
but restricted Unhitching credit
from participation Forming questions
Understanding the nature of knowledge Participation &
co-production Information to
knowledge Fees & other exclusions
(time, distance...) Network infrastructure
emphasis on information Connectivist Instructivist Chaotic, autonomous,
dispersed Peer-organised, informal peer review Depend on aggregation Emphasis: coping
with abundance; self-
expression; networking Unofficial, adjunct Humanities, education,
professional development Open to alternatives to traditional HE Structured, centralised, curricular Expert-led, assessed Emphasis: pre-defined subject knowledge Sciences, technology, objective knowledge base Institutionalised Autonomy Ethos of original MOOCs "...eliminating the learned dependence on the expert and the elite – not as a celebration of anti-intellectualism, but as a result of widespread and equitable access to expertise." Fork in MOOC approaches - meeting needs
or hacking college? Stephen Downes A set of principles "connectivism ... autonomy, diversity, openness and interactivity." Criticism 1:
MOOCs aren't courses Counter-examples: http://change.mooc.ca/week25.htm
http://vle.openbrookes.net/course/view.php?id=5 Jenny Mackness Criticism 2:
automatically support independence Criticism 4:
dispersed = disorientating "Where's it happening today?" Side effect of using students' own spaces. "You choose ... Just like real life."
(Cormier & Gillis, 2010) But autodidacts don't take courses. Criticism 6:
'tyranny of participation' Criticism 3:
spontaneous centralisation Aren't MOOCs just a sequence in a network?
What about scaffolds, constraints, encouragement, progress monitoring, feedback, equitable access, individualised intervention from expert? Gravitation towards the experts. Not enough attention on each other. Criticism 5:
MOOCs are elitist Only already-successful people start MOOCs.
Sufficient free time. Schema theory - the importance of prior knowledge - existing mental structures among which to make connections. Counter example:
http://ds106.us/ (Groom et al) http://cogdogblog.com/2010/12/20/idea-fence-painted/ Some rejection of silent participation. Counter examples:
ds106 requires participation from UMW students.
fslt12 encourages, doesn't require
aiqus - community Q&A Utopian views of participation (Ferreday & Hodgson, 2008) References Bell, F., 2011. Connectivism: Its Place in Theory-Informed Research and Innovation in Technology-Enabled Learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3). Available at: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/902/1664.
Chamberlin, L. & Parish, T., 2011. MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses or Massive and Often Obtuse Courses? eLearn Magazine. Available at: http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2016017#1%29.
Cormier, D. & Gillis, N., 2010. What is a MOOC? Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW3gMGqcZQc
Downes, S., 2007. What Connectivism is. Half an Hour. Available at: http://halfanhour.blogspot.co.uk/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html.
Ferreday, D. & Hodgson, V., 2008. The Tyranny of Participation and Collaboration in Networked Learning. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning. 6th International Conference on Networked Learning. Halkidiki, Greece, pp. 640–647. Available at: http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/past/nlc2008/abstracts/PDFs/Hodgson_640-647.pdf.
Tschofen, C. & Mackness, J., 2012. Connectivism and dimensions of individual experience. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(1). authentic tasks and environment;
plenty of autonomous, solitary work;
ethos of independence and mutual support;
intrinsic feedback in assignments helps avoid dependency;
assignments with boundaries and constraints;
emphasis on skills and mashup lessens 'anxiety of influence'. Counter example:
gRSShopper (Downes) Dave Cormier Imperative of participating
Otherwise perceived selfishness, denial of community values
But participation often dominated by those with most confidence, time, energy. "... knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore ... learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks." (Downes, 2007) Big Five personality traits Autonomy v. community
(c.f. Tschofen & Mackness, 2012) 1. pull in blog posts
2. turn them into discussion objects
3. feed back to original blog post Criticisms &
counter-examples Openess, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism. Introversion Extroversion Counter examples:
pragmatism - there IS unmet need
There's a CPD niche
ds106 - a 'travelling' view of learning
ds106, fslt12 participants give to others through the MOOC because it's free MOOCs only exist because of unmet HE need.
Further erode equity of access to HE - second rate.
Weeder courses - opportunity /= success Tutors Students Learning determined by (Siemens, 2008):
depth & diversity of connections
frequency of exposure
integration with prior knowledge
strong and weak ties Complex world, networks as filters MOOCs & institutions If MOOCs open everything
that can be, what's left? Entitlement to expert attention - personalised judgment, guidance, feedback, timely intervention
Extrinsic motivation to succeed
Services and support
Reputable assessment and qualifications These are unique to HE institutions. 'Connectivism' ...limited by the lack of structure, support and moderation normally associated with an online course ... they seek to engage in traditional groups as opposed to an open network. (Mackness et al, 2010) "...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." Knowledge Comprehension Analysis Application Synthesis Evaluation Creativity Foundational level Degree level Can MOOCs advance
degree level learning? Building subject knowledge
Modelling / externalising discourse & interactions Unhitching assessment from teaching Assessing work done on other courses.
Or hybridising courses.
Or offering supervision and/or assessment based on existing MOOCs. Forming groups within MOOC
networks Addressing the transition between
school and higher learning Student ambassadors and academics model and demystify scholarship
Shaping A Level qualification (Gove, 2012) Communities of inquiry / practice based on local needs
Shared experiences, focus of energies
Layers of structure
Mutual support & encouragement
Peer feedback Frances Bell Not new - communities of practice in existing open education tradition. The critical importance of developing one's own personal learning network. Needs of academics Formal recognition of time spent on MOOCs;
Digital literacies and fluencies to participate in, and model, new forms of academic communication;
Licence to be private. Aiqus and majoritarianism Background Learning for Free?
The World of MOOCs Examples:
CCK, Change, ds106 Examples:
edX, Coursera Mira Vogel, Goldsmiths Learning Enhancement Unit