Back to the theoretical grind, I was alerted to a research article on heutagogy as an alternative to andragogy. If that sentence is full of ambiguous words, it was for me too — both are theories of learning relating to adult education, a field in edu which supposes that adults learn in a manner different from children (which is a lot to suppose, but makes sense at first glance). While MOOC marketing departments have heralded the xMOOC’s ability to let an intrepid 12 year old take a Stanford course in computer programming (and, as a field, we need to see how Code Academy fits into the MOOC archetype), the history behind MOOCs comes either from traditional higher education (xMOOC) or distance education designed for higher education (cMOOC). Because traditional higher ed is seeing an upward shift in median age of student (and distance ed has always seen an older student population than in traditional ed), the theory the MOOC movement built on (or will build upon) needs to account for an adult population. Not surprisingly, little of the little MOOC research flows down this path. That leaves it to us to research, code and crunch. Getting into the work by Lisa Marie Blaschke… Continue reading
Alec Couros gives a quasi-case study account of his experience facilitating (and I really like that term to define the role of an instructor in a MOOC) EC&I 831, an open access course that grew into an open online course, and eventually had ten times the number of registered students interacting online. The course is commonly organized with cMOOCs, based on the focus on open access, the online component, the learning theory of the course, and the ratio of external students to internal students. In this anthology chapter, Couros uses his experience with EC&I 831 to discuss the importance of personal learning networks, analyzing learning theory behind open access learning (and subsequently Open Online Courses). Continue reading
George Siemens starts a June 2012 blog post by celebrating the advancement of massively open online courses via platforms such as Coursera and EdX (noticeably absent from his praise is Udacity) as methods of providing excellence in education on a global level (an effort that is written about in great detail throughout popular lit, but not so much in research). The purpose of the blog, however, is to note the theoretical and pedagogical differences between MOOCs and Coursera/EdX MOOCs (and he notes that he has chosen to signify the larger model as the “other”). What about similarities?
There are many points of overlap, obviously, as both our MOOCs and the Coursera/EDx MOOCs taken (sic) advantage of distributed networks to reflect changing educational practice.
As I have noted in previous review of research, the assumption that MOOCs share ancestry is likely faulty. Continue reading