Tuesday, January 14, 2014

To MOOC or not to MOOC ! And what about SPOCs?


2013 was the year od the MOOCs, remember? MOOCs were the big 'a-ha'*  at Higher Education at all the best universities in the world. 

In September 30, 2013, UCSD Jacobs (School of Engineering) published the article Is Massive Open Online Research the Next Frontier to Education?

Prof. Peter Struck (Université de Pennsylvanie)
photo: Mark Rourke|AP|SIPA

On November 8th, 2013 the Nouvel Observateur (French journal) published an article MOOC ou pas MOOC, telle est la question

As 2013 came to a close, another proclamation about MOOCs arrived in this front-page Times headline: After Setbacks, Online Courses Are Rethought. It was published on December 10th, 2013, in the New York Times.

Prof. Sebastian Thrun
photo:  Stephen Lam/Reuters

“I care about education for everyone, not just the elite,” (...) “We want to bring high-quality education to everyone, and set up everyone for success. My commitment is unchanged.”

Sebastian Thrun

On my blog, I wrote some posts about MOOCs along 2013. MOOCs in a simple way (May 2013) and MOOCs, again ! (October 2013). On this last post, I shared two Infographics showing the impact of MOOCs in Europe and in the world. Impressive !

Yesterday, January 13th 2014, The Chronicle of Higher Education published two interesting articles: 

Innovation in 2014 : Welcome to the Evolution (Opinions & ideas)

"The concept behind the first MOOCs was to connect large groups of people in an online open forum rather than have a set of recorded lectures simply broadcast to the masses. At the research conference on MOOCs last month in Arlington, many of the MOOC pioneers noted that the next frontier will be the combination of that initial vision with the scale of teaching hundreds of thousands of students at once."

Jeffrey Selingo, Prof. Arizona Sate University

And George Siemens Gets Connected (Technology).

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation put George Siemens in charge of the project MOOC Research Initiativea project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that evaluates MOOCs' impact on teaching and learning. 
George Siemens presentation MOOCs: How did we get here at the Open Education Conference in November 6th 2013 (slides an video) is published on his website.
The focus is on his early experiences with MOOCs, their current state, and future directions (as well as some angst and hope).
He led a December conference at UT Arlington during which researchers and educators from the United States, Canada, and Europe shared information about MOOCs, their successes and shortcomings.
"Prominent during the conference was the recognition that educators need to start thinking about “what happens after MOOCs”. No clear consensus arose from the conversations that I participated in, but the general tone was one of expecting higher education to continue subsuming MOOCs under umbrellas of marketing and recruitment, alumni outreach, online/blended learning, and broadening the role of universities in a knowledge economy."
There are two good experts and critical thinkers, as well, that I would suggest to read: Tony Bates, and Stephen Downes.

On Tony Bates's website you will have the best thoughts about MOOCs. I can choose MOOCs MIT and Magic for example, but it's up to you to search on Bates' website other posts.

On Stephen Downes' blogyou can read some important thoughts about MOOCs as well. For example, Seminar on MOOCs, Lyon, France, day 2.

Don't miss his slides "MOOC, Diversity and Community in Online Learning" presented at Lyon Seminar.

And now, the Infographic below: "To MOOC or not to MOOC : MOOCs are hot, but is the sizzle about to fizzle?"

"My understanding of the term ‘MOOC’ is a bit different; it is derived from a theory of learning based on engagement and interaction within a community of practitioners, without predetermined outcomes, and without a body of knowledge that we can simply ‘transfer’ to the learner.

And my understanding of the term ‘MOOC’ is based on five years of experience developing and offering MOOCs, from the very first MOOC, “CCK08”, created by George Siemens and myself in 2008, and run a total of four time in the years following, to MOOCs in personal learning environments, critical literacies, and more."

Stephen Downes, MOOC, Diversity and Community in Online Learning, slide 2

Questions still remain about the effectiveness of the assessment mechanisms associated with MOOCs, with many relying on peer reviews.

To date, the impact of MOOCs has been largely disseminated through press releases and university reports. The peer-reviewed research on MOOCs has been minimal. The proliferation of MOOCs in higher education requires a concerted and urgent research agenda.

The MOOC Research Initiative (MRI) will begin to address this research gap by evaluating MOOCs and how they impact teaching, learning, and education in general.
"The evolution of MOOCs provides a road map of how the larger debate over innovation in higher education might play out in 2014. In just five years, massive online courses evolved from those early experiments to the offerings from Coursera and edX to who knows what is ahead. This much, though, is certain: Many more front-page proclamations about the future of higher education may be proved wrong in the coming year, but without these early experiments, we can't ever evolve to what comes next."

Jeffrey Selingo, Prof. Arizona Sate University

And now there are SPOCs: Small Private Online Courses...

Let's see! The year just began !


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To MOOC or not to MOOC ! And what about SPOCs ? by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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