A 2011 case study on the MobiMOOC course built from the theory and ideology of cMOOCs provides more of what you would expect from consistent research:  seminal thinkers, buffered ideology, and oddly small sample sizes.  

A few things I took away from the paper:

  • I’m trying to compile an idea of how many people see a MOOC to completion.  With NaNoWriMo, they average 18% or so completion every year, and the limited access I have to MOOC data is similar.  MobiMOOC only had 13% completion, which might not seem like a big difference, but dropout rates are worrisome (even if there are numerous possible reasons) if this is the panacea for education.
  • I just got into Distance Education, and now I am looking at mobile learning, or what the paper calls mLearning.  Also, I don’t know if it was specifically this paper, but there were a lot of references to theories and people who were not explained in the paper, so they just kind of hung there as something I was assumed to know.  And I don’t usually get that feeling.
  • Interesting to see how quotes can be used in different fashions by different people.  There is a Randy Garrison quote in this paper that I interpreted in a different manner.
  • Case studies are valid and reputable, but it’s still tough for me to see the people who performed the case study laud it.  It’s academically sound, just odd for me.
  • We need to differentiate cMOOCs and aiMOOCs in a better way.  When the authors continued to talk about MOOCs, I was thinking Udacity-like MOOCs, and this was all about connectivist MOOCs.  Ambiguity.
  • The paper kind of hits a theory wall.  It gets into Vygotsky, but does not link social constructivism into the paper, going straight to connectivism.  Connectivism seems to be valid enough to write a paper on, but I would like to see a lit review acknowledge that it is a theory in progress, especially when the quote that defines connectivism in this paper comes from a paper questioning whether connectivism is a learning theory or just pedagogy.

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