The Limits of xMOOCs & the Emergence of Learning
I’ve been participating in MOOCs
and working on various #open #learning strategies and projects, for some time; I actually don’t think MOOCs are now
much about learning at all; they have become content-driven #edspam and work in similar ways to spam, with a very limited ‘completion’ rate. Admittedly the original MOOC vision of Stephen Downes
, George Siemens
& Dave Cormier
was focussed on developing a model of learning that reflects their interest in distributed knowledge. Hence the ‘self-referential’ quality that some people comment on about their CCK MOOCs on Connectivism
. MOOCs were about Connectivism, and explored the use of new digital tools, as their excellent What is a MOOC?
makes clear, which is fair enough – they are articulating and developing their vision. They also write on the value of open courses being in Research, Learning & Engagement
, which ties in with that original vision, and Cormier argues
that you wouldn’t want to Assess within a MOOC either. However newer MOOCs have different agendas.
The key part of a MOOC however is the “Massive Course”
dimension and this year, 2012, has seen the big American Universities take the globalisation of education, and their traditional content-push model of learning, into the MOOC arena and have focussed on growing the MC business; Udacity
etc. Gavin, for example, on the ALT list commented that his experience is that Coursera is content-centric and that you must navigate as they command; of course! Downes et al
should have called their work DOOK – Distributed Open Online Knowledge, if they didn’t want the big boys to steal the baby when they made their bigger splash. MOOC growth now is about US Universities winning the race in the globalised education market, meanwhile in the UK we are raising fees, and failing to improve the learning experience on offer, even at our widening participation