The MOOC Divide – Scholars go urMOOC

The best MOOC primer I have read throughout my research comes from Ken Masters, a medical education professor at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, who in 2011 provided a three-page synopsis of MOOCs for an audience of medical education professors.  It incorporates theory, educational practices, the history of the movement, questions about pedagogy and practices, and considers future outcomes.  The problem is, the MOOCs described here follow the urMOOC learning theories, drawing quotes from George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and Dave Cormier.  In this model, learning is negotiated, the instructor is not the God of Content, and the objectives of the course may look remarkably different at the end due to the organic growth of the semester.  Certainly that was the design of the urMOOC, but are the MOOCs of Coursera and Udacity willing to let objectives change and willing to negotiate knowledge?  The reliance on quizzes and grading would point otherwise, but more research is needed.

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