Trying to catch up on the buzz in the field as I not only gear up for the end of the year, but start to shift my focus from research to production of a dissertation…
Feed-Forward xMOOC – An idea of how to mix the course design of an xMOOC with the idealism of the OER movement. This group of individuals have developed an xMOOC based on some Yale OpenCourseware for an Intro to Psychology course. Unlike existing xMOOC sites, Feed-Foward xMOOCs would encourage people to utilize them in the Open Access/Source manner, tinkering and shaping and repositing as the needs of the users wish.
Who Says Online Courseware Will Cause the Death of Universities – Counterpoint to the ideology that MOOCs are going to disrupt higher education. This viewpoint notes that MOOCs are similar in scope to the evolution of the library or the textbook, institutions and organizations that provided access to information for an exponentially larger audience, but did not change the way people learn. Interesting to note that in the experience of the author, execs and employees at companies like Apple and Oracle are using MOOCs for lifelong learning opportunities…author mentions that Masters-level university work might be harmed, but no support for that claim.
MOOCs and Hype Again – Larry Cuban looks at the MOOC as at the apex of the hype cycle. He does note that movement in K-12 educational policy over the past several generations has been toward defining standards, pushing standards into students, and then holding students and teachers accountable so that said standards are met…not really debating the standards or the merit of the standards or whether we are measuring standards because they are vital or because they are easy to measure…and a similar outcome could happen because of the focus on the style in which MOOCs run (though Cuban doesn’t go down that road).
How Students are Forced to Prop Up the Educational Bubble – Important to think about MOOCs in economic terms, as those are some of the most powerful arguments from xMOOC developers. Boston Review article arguing that students will fill in the $1 trillion in student loan debt based on the manner in which student loans are organized and regulated. Much more nuance in the article.
College Credit for MOOCs Gains Momentum – The American Council on Education plans on looking at MOOCs and weighing in on whether or not said courses are course-credit worthy. Expect more talk on this level in 2013.
SAGrader, the Automated Writing Grader – A look at a piece of technology that grades student writing, offering instantaneous feedback for students to fine-tune their essays. One of the obstacles facing xMOOCs is the composition and feedback component in a massive happening (with numerous language barriers). Again, more of this will be coming along, but how will online composition graders account for nuance?