Aside

I looked at 3 MOOCs: ds106, ChangeMOOC and Coursera and found a range of differences but also quite a lot of overlap.

  • ds106 was flashy, tabloid, aimed at a young audience (nothing wrong with that!) and was designed to make maximum use of visual technology. I liked the way it tells the learner at the start which accounts and apps will be needed. That removes some of the unexpected from the course. Its pedagogy was in the spirit of connectivism, with its emphasis on the community of students working together.
  • by contrast, Change MOOC had more of the tone of the OU. It nailed its colours firmly to the connectivist mast. In George Siemens’ words  “our cMOOC model emphasises creation, creativity, autonomy and social networking learning. “ ChangeMOOC tended to explain its philosophy and pedagogy and also included  information about paid courses.
  • Coursera: seems at first sight not to espouse the connectivist pedagogy (it relies heavily on listening to lectures) but in fact some of its courses offer a choice between a more behaviourist, teacher-led  approach (there is a named ‘instructor’) and a more connectivist approach. Some courses have 2 tracks: CORE track and Practicum; the latter includes the CORE track plus 3 action learning assignments and peer assessment of student work.

I do wonder, along with John Daniel, where the money will come from. Students can pay for certification, formal assessment and direct tutoring with marking of assignments and organisations may be able to charge for providing information to potential employers of the students. 

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