Catching Up on Tweeted Links – September 20

I’m noticing three areas of MOOC info.  The first is PR from the makers:  EdX, Coursera, Udacity and the like are pinging their information out there (most recently Coursera’s announcement of 17 new associated universities, including liberal arts university Wesleyean), so whether it comes from the source or is directed through a blog, it’s still news on the nuts and bolts development of this learning method.  The second comes from the literature:  what is the theory behind MOOC learning, where is its history, and where is it headed.  This requires digging, as the MOOC makers are not focusing their time or speech on learning theory, pedagogy, methodology, etc.  The third is punditry:  a mix of research and news, it involves people discussing their thoughts on news of the day, tying it (to varying levels of rigor and success) to literature.  The third section is what explodes daily across the Internet, and it’s also the place I am putting the least focus (opinions are easy, but how are they shaped, where do they come from, and what are the implications…such goes into research).

At this point, I use Twitter extensively as a learning network amongst peers and experts in the field, basically marking anything within the realm of MOOC or Distance Learning as a favorite, and going back later to see what was there.

MOOCs Could Hurt Smaller and For-Profit Colleges – a study by Moody’s, tweeted by Kevin Werbach, a Wharton Business professor teaching a Coursera course in Gamification.  The report sees MOOCs as a defining line between haves and have-nots, with those associated creating financial gains, leaving those without behind.  This is a somewhat common feeling re: economics, with some people seeing the only success for smaller colleges to focus extensively on face-to-face education.  Moody’s does note that the model of MOOC they are using, the Coursera-like, is dependent on grant financing at this point.

Is MOOC More than Just a Buzzword? – a Guardian article posted by Bonnie Stewart, a Ph.D student (who is cited often by Dave Cormier, one of the fathers of the cMOOC).  A primer on the fast development of MOOC, what is behind it, and a basic look at the difference between her experience with cMOOCs and the Coursera-like MOOCs.  It’s mentioned that cMOOCs stand for learning outside of the traditional higher ed hierarchy, ironic considering the media push toward Coursera-like MOOCs.  There is a note for a cMOOC starting (sometime in the Autumn?) that will discuss the future of higher ed and online learning.

Google Launches Open-Course Builder – Peter Norvig, Google’s director of researchers and one of the brains behind Udacity, helped develop what Google hopes to become a standard OS for MOOC-based courses.  Interesting to note the mention of K-12 MOOCs here; are they using the term as a blanket for online resources, or are there efforts to turn some courses into massive involvements?

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