Hodgepodge – Links on MOOC Parallels

Trying to keep up with research, theory, history and current goings-on is more than one blogger can handle.  That’s where I am, however.  Here are tweets I’ve come across relating in some way, shape, fashion or form to the world of MOOC:

  • Another Stunningly Bad Vision for Learning:  From Will Richardson, a writer and K-12 reformer.    Richardson here looks at an edtech example of personalized learning, the ed policy buzzword revolving around using technology to let kids get at content at their own pace.  This is not new pedagogy at all; in fact, personalized learning is one of the many pseudonyms of independent study, a distance education pedagogy developed due to the difficulty of creating student-student and student-teacher interactions (meaning student-content interaction needed to be of high quality).  As my earlier blog mentions, the distance ed folks see a lot of value in student-student interaction (and there is ample research showing students see a lot of value in student-teacher interaction), so the policy push toward personal learning is counter to existing learning theory.  It lends itself to the collection of data, however.
  • Learnable Programming – Bret Victor, an educator and programmer who was referenced in Khan Academy’s recent computer science tutorials, tackles the pedagogical problems he sees with Khan Academy, both in word and in example.  The piece is long and likely requires some programming knowledge to fully grasp it, but Victor provides excellent correlations for laypeople such as myself to understand he does not agree that programming can just be learned through rote mechanics.
  • In Colleges’ Rush to Try MOOC’s, Faculty Are Not Always in the Conversation:  Chronicle of Higher Education article looking at the lack of faculty input involved in the race for a number of colleges to align not only with the world of MOOC, but with specific LMS such as Coursera or edX.  The article cites professors lamenting their role in negotiations, but in some blog discussion on this very site, anecdotal evidence suggests professors are but one part of the equation:  their voices should be heard, but so should those of instructional designers, department heads, support staff, etc.

    Lots more to get to over time…


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