Monthly Archives: May 2014

Now With References!

I’ve created a full-blown references page for All MOOCs; this makes up the entirety of my citation list for the dissertation which inspired this blog project.  My earlier bibliography received several shout-outs as congruent to open scholarship, and I think a reference list that can snapshot the MOOC phenomenon not just as a learning system but a mechanism of hype and sociopolitical discourse can serve value.  Browsing through, it’s amazing to see changes in the conversation…first the online education world between 1989 and 2011, followed by the democratization wave and then the reconciliation of the MOOC’s misgivings with they desire for solutionism.  What does the future hold for MOOC rhetoric?

The Problem with The MOOC Problem

My first postdoctoral publication was last week at Hybrid Pedagogy, an article about the lack of agenda or cohesion among educators in a fluctuating higher ed landscape.  In it I call for educators to do a better job both in defining their purpose as educators (similar to what Morozov advocates for as an intellectual agenda) and ask them to better advocate for seats at practical Future of Education discussions, those on organizational and political levels rather than in conference proceedings and in academic journals.  Response was overwhelmingly positive, which while flattering signifies a failure on my part to articulate my purpose.

I do not necessarily believe in actionable outcomes as a prerequisite for position papers or calls to advocacy; there needs to be a space where people can longitudinally engage with content or a premise without a need to place the situation inside a synthesis rubric.  Traditionally, the Hybrid Pedagogy discussion boards foster such teasing and wrestling.  This was not the case in my article, and I wonder if it is because the article was too easy to agree with.  Of course people should better advocate and better articulate, but why are we not doing that right now? I do not believe people wish to be poor advocates for their educational calling nor do I believe people are happy to be outside the conversation, so looking over the article I see too much TED and not enough discord.  Perhaps the article articulates a needed voice and position in the education sector (the idea that we are stuck talking about systems and instruments when the whole EdTech hullabaloo was intended to transcend the issues of systems and instruments).   And perhaps this was a needed first step for a movement to challenge educators, entrepreneurs and politicians to engage with one another in research-grounded actionable programs to better education rather than to solve it.  But without any disagreement for my premise, I feel there is no real place to agree either.