Tag Archives: Athabasca

Firing at the MOOC Moving Target

I sit down at my computer on Monday morning to see what folks wrote about re: MOOCs over the weekend.  And herein lies the problem in trying to define a learning trend/model/phenomenon/hysteria:

  • Michael Feldstein wrote a thorough engagement of LMS companies such as Instructure throwing their hats into the higher ed MOOC fray.  Feldstein continued to look at the MOOC movement in terms of disruptive innovation, and while in the article he questions that approach, dominant ideology of the time (or at least dominant media narrative) links MOOC to the theory of Christensen, so I’m going to need to go back to that one.
  • The New York Times wrote an article with the inflated title The Year of the MOOC.  The article pays very little lip service to the MOOC movement prior to Seb Thrun and 2011, continuing the media narrative that MOOCs pretty much fell out of the sky at that time, though a few people were dabbling around some years before.   Continue reading

Predicting the Future = Knowing the Past

I made a comment during the first week of reading in the Current/Future State of Higher Education (#cfhe12), lamenting the lack of readings that withstood academic rigor, most notably through the journal process.  Academic journals are a source of contention and fight in open access circles (#oped12), and there are a number of journals that have already gone open access, continuing to vet and peer-review rigorous research while opening its books to anyone interested.

The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning is such an open journal, and readings from it have helped guide my understanding of the history of distance and online education.  Within its electronic pages I have found history, perspective, dissent, and most importantly theoretical and research rationale for posits and claims.  So I wonder why, at this point in my cMOOC readings for cfhe12 and oped12, I have not found any articles from this journal, considering the ones I have encountered so far paint a great road map leading us from the dawn of industrial education to the massification precipice we are at today. Continue reading

Unpacking Theory in Contested Waters – David Annand on Reorganizing Universities for the Information Age

I should have known David Annand’s 2007 article on reorganizing universities for the information age would be a challenging read based on the keywords:  Industrialization, Fordism, Luddites.  Annand, a professor at Athabasca University (home of cMOOC innovators George Siemens & Stephen Downes), wrote about the changes he saw necessary in the digital age of higher education.  His literature review, theoretical foundation and arguments ran in a direction I did not expect, calling into questions some of the beliefs I had built in my quest to define MOOC.  Finding resistance, I am going to dive deep into the writing to see where the differentiation is and why.   Continue reading