One of the earliest problems with the MOOC phenomenon was discord: on one side there were distance/online education scholars devoted to digital learning as a transformative opportunity, on the other AI and Machine Learning mavens (whose models focused on the Tech side of EdTech) who were largely unaware of existing methods and progress and saw EdTech as a mechanism of convenience/ease/economy. MOOC was a term borne of experimentation and cutting-edge theory, a background it lost once MOOC became synonymous with LMS-based content streams.
One year ago, focused on the disparity between the freedom of the original MOOC and the limitations of the Frankenstein’s Monster MOOC built of venture capital and buttressed institutions, I made a call for scholars to step back from fighting for the MOOC monicker.
Love @RMoeJo‘s notion that we lost the term MOOC, not to mention his research and theoretics around the idea grounds the term #opened13
Today, I am announcing a course I will lead in collaboration with Canvas network and a slew of writers, educators and scholars, scheduled to launch in January 2015. It’s a course about establishing tangible and repeatable creative writing practices (#cwmooc), built around the development and drafting of the written word. It will look very little like the MOOCs of Udacity/Coursera/edX. But it is a MOOC. And I am not shying away from calling it such.
Defining the MOOC phenomenon from an educational perspective starts with theoretical foundation, and in order to build a theoretical foundation, one must look at the history of a movement. This develops over a course of weeks and months of reading articles, fishing out noteworthy citations, reading those articles, and over time finding a path to various historical movement, seminal authors, and moments in time considered relevant by the community crowd. Over the past two months, this journey started with MOOC, dove into aiMOOC and urMOOC, and started to gel around cMOOC and xMOOC as the two primary MOOC formats, with a collection of similarities but a wealth of differences. Comparison study on historical, theoretical and pedagogical levels is my attempt to work on defining what MOOCs are and (perhaps more importantly) why they arrived and where we are going because of this moment in time.
The MOOC movement has exploded over the past nine months, and my assumption was that the media narrative of MOOC was too clean for the explosion happening, that we needed to start to delineate between xMOOC and cMOOC, and perhaps MOOC was the wrong monicker. However, it was naive of me to think that the explosion would be so clean that it would fit under xMOOC and cMOOC. Continue reading →