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MOOCs

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Roman Bína

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of MOOCs

RQ: How does the current phenomenon of MOOCs reflect in the public and professional opinions on computer-helped education in traditional classrooms?
Massive Open Online Course - MOOC
Aims of MOOCs:
The future and addressing of the RQ
aimed at large-scale participation and open access
distance-based education
providing (mostly) free education to everybody (with an Internet connection)
1920s - specialized educated through a letter-based form arises (Kett, 1996)
1940s - Military use of video technology to instruct public and soldiers
With the spread of Personal Computers, education reached out through screens
September, 2006 - Khanacademy launched
2008 - Term MOOC coined
April, 2010 - Coursera launches (2.5 million in November 2012)
(November 2011 - duoLingo (over 1 million users Winter 2012) )
February, 2012 - udacity launches (400,000 users)
April, 2012 - edX launches
Now - ???
History:
Effectiveness
Completion rates - approximately 10% of enrolled students complete the course
Users are mostly highly educated (Pappano, 2012) - the aim meant to include everybody might not be as stated
Plagiarism in work
Various backgrounds of students in the field distort the structure of the questions asked in discussions
There is no possibility of adjustment throughout the course by the professor
Feedback is mostly peer-based with discussion monitored by teaching assistants
Anonymous
Impersonal
Limited to users with internet connection and English speakers
As the topic is of broad societal range and developing, the research used many contemporary opinionated and balancing news articles, blog entries of educators, but as well research through available investigations.
Methods of inquiry
Do MOOCs change in societal perception of traditional classes?
Reasons for investigation:
- contemporary social phenomenon with public involvement
- societal view change possible
- signs of educational changes which are backed by factors necessary in Tyack and Cuban's book -
Tinkering toward Utopia
Sources
Joseph F. Kett, Pursuit of Knowledge Under Difficulties: From Self-Improvement to Adult Education in America (1996) pp 236-8
PAPPANO, L. (2012). Download PDF. Retrieved from http://www.case.edu/strategicplan/downloads/TheYearoftheMooc.pdf.
(2012). The Year of the MOOC - The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/education/edlife/massive-open-online-courses-are-multiplying-at-a-rapid-pace.html?pagewanted=all.
Mackness, J., Mak, S., & Williams, R. (2010). The ideals and reality of participating in a MOOC. Networked Learing Conference. University of Lancaster.
"A Pioneer in Online Education Tries a MOOC - The Chronicle of ..." 2012. 26 Feb. 2013 <http://chronicle.com/article/A-Pioneer-in-Online-Education/134662/>
(2013). Universities Abroad Join MOOC Course Projects - NYTimes.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/education/universities-abroad-join-mooc-course-projects.html
Tyack, D., & Cuban, L. (1995). Tinkering toward utopia. Cambridge, MA; London, England: Harvard University Press.
“One of the characteristics of academia is that nobody wants to be left behind. There’s great promise here, great potential, but we need more careful research, and there has not been sufficient attention to that, partly because a lot of the people creating these courses are missionaries, and missionaries are not by and large interested in testing their message.”
- William G. Bowen, a former president of Princeton and founding chairman of Ithaka, a nonprofit concerned with education and information technology.
DuoLingo is another MOOC, yet very differently structured. It is a language-teaching program, which does not rely on courses. Instead the users progress at their own pace in learning the language they want. What makes it different is it’s careful reflection upon the structure it is using and the constant development of its hybrid form with feedback of it’s users and peer-education in discussions. http://static.duolingo.com/s3/DuolingoReport_Final.pdf
“The research found that autonomy, diversity, openness and connectedness/interactivity are indeed characteristics of a MOOC, but that they present paradoxes which are difficult to resolve in an online course. The more autonomous, diverse and open the course, and the more connected the learners, the more the potential for their learning to be limited by the lack of structure, support and moderation normally associated with an online course, and the more they seek to engage in traditional groups as opposed to an open network.”
(Mackness, J., Mak, S., & Williams, R., 2010)
Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois, Springfield, says three things matter most in online learning:
quality of material covered
engagement of the teacher
interaction among students
Reasons and Pros
Participating professor Dr. Agarwal predicts that “a year from now, campuses will give credit for people with edX certificates.” (The Year of the MOOC, 2012)
REASONS for the MOOC's Movement
providing access to higher education for everybody
crushing student debt in the US
declining state support for university education
disruptive technologies have made it imperative to look at new models for teaching ( Chronicle, 2012 )
Learning not limited by age
Great selection of courses
Selection of instructors by the MOOCs
98 % of faculty is rejected (The Year of the MOOC, 2012)
Support by the higher-education most prestigious universities
Not discriminatory
Opportunity for under-achieving students
Diversity faof opinions due to different backgrounds of students and different insights
Connectedness, interactivity
63 percent who completed Dr. Agarwal’s course as well as a similar one on campus found the MOOC better; 36 percent found it comparable; 1 percent, worse.
Dispite it's problems are MOOC a "Lasting reform?"
Summary of MOOC's pro's and cons & reflecting and comparing Tyack and Cuban's 4 points of lasting reforms
1) Reforms that were structural add-ons, which did not disturb the standard operating procedures of schools and did not demand fundamental change in the behavior of teachers
2) Influential constituencies produced the reform and are interested in seeing them continue
3) Required by law and easily monitored reforms
4) Reforms proposed by in-school means (teachers, administrators, educators)
+ Despite their faults the MOOC's are mostly in coherence with Tyack and Cuban's reflections.
+ Not disturbing the standard procedures of schools,
+ They are created by influential schooling institutions, who seem to be interested in expanding their plans and connecting them.

- On the other hand, MOOC's are not easily monitored and neither required by law. Therefore the question is how that would be implemented and if anyhow this Internet based education can and if it even should be required by law? The future will tell, but MOOC's are definitely "hybrids suited to their context" (Tyack; Cuban, 1995) and have a potential to be used in some parts of the society. If so however, to what extent should that be and how dangerous could that be in the socially-connected online community of today?
“The ones I have study groups with people, those are the ones I finish,” - MOOC student (NY Times, 2012)
Recent studies and further considerations about duoLingo
http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/17/study-learning-spanish-with-duolingo-can-be-more-effective-than-college-classes-or-rosetta-stone/
http://duolingo.com/#/effectiveness-study
Pros
Reflections and Cons
Most MOOCs are simply lectures by professors recorded on camera and screened to the student (though some experiment with live feeds of classes currently)
Though brings some new ways and possibly examples to teachers
As of right now, not a clear answer can be given, as can be seen, many different opinions prevail. The educators behind MOOCs are highly positive, but experts urge to not simply go ahead without thinking.
The spark of interest which continues ever since the year ago public launch of the three biggest MOOCs has been widely medialized and despite the low graduation rates, the general public seems interested in this education-style
As they do not try to replace the current educational models, and as the comparison with Tyack and Cubans lasting reform changes shows, we might see the progress and implementation of this stylo of education further
MOOCs general description:
Most projects developed by universities or graduates from them
A course is in general a set of videos (viewable through web-browser), in which professors introduce viewers to the subject matter through a lecture-styled education
Viewers/students are not able to ask direct questions through the video
However questions on subject matter is encouraged through written form or discussion board messages - reviewed either by professor or student-helpers
Work assigned in video is peer-reviewed or corrected by professor-affiliated students, rarely by educator, real world get-togethers encouraged
In some cases, smaller group or one-on-one video-sessions are done with professor during the course
DuoLingo - Different MOOC
https://www.coursera.org/
https://www.edx.org/
https://www.udacity.com/
https://www.khanacademy.org/
Cons
Reflections by educators & research
Small, different and seemingly succesful
Full transcript