Tag Archives: Scaffolding

Defining Edu Terms & MOOC Simulacra

At the heart of the Open Education Resources movement (and the Open movement in general) is the notion that education is a public good.  The progression to such sentiment may be based in a notion that an educated citizenry betters democracy and civic life (folks like John Locke and Thomas Jefferson), or that knowledge and wisdom are non-rivalrous and non-excludable (Econ 101), or that the increase and diffusion of knowledge stimulates societal and cultural growth (James Smithson, John Quincy Adams).  Regardless of its germination, the crux of such thought is that the provision of education from an egalitarian lens results in benefit across the population.

At face value the Massive Open Online Course fits this vision:  courses are free, prerequisites are encouraged but not enforced, and access to the best professors at the best universities is not bound to geography or economics.  And research into the framework of the MOOC points to the opening of university walls, the building of intra- and internet communications and an attempt to promote the increase and diffusion of knowledge for society, whether communal or global.  That’s why it’s worth noting that one of the primary voices in OER, David Wiley, sees the 2013 incarnation of MOOCs as a money grab:

I propose that, whenever you hear the acronym MOOC, you think: “Massively Obfuscated Opportunities for Cash”

How can a MOOC be both a bastion for openness and the epitome of closed content? Continue reading

Scaffolding & MOOCs

I came across a great blog by Mark Sample, a literature and new media professor at George Mason University, looking at scaffolding, MOOCs, and MOOC pedagogy.  I thought Dr. Sample’s argument was spot-on about the problems of attaching training wheels to coursework, but had trouble with his association with that as scaffolding, which I look at from Vygotsky or Bandura as an integral part of the student-teacher relationship, and is one of if not the most important function of a teacher.  I might not be Laura Riding as far as definitions and ambiguity are concerned, but I feel like in order to have discussions about a topic we all need to define like terms before looking at points of contention.  I responded to Dr. Sample’s blog, but thought the write-up summarized the difference between classic and contemporary instruction fairly well, so am putting it here too. Continue reading

Ed Startup 101

In the spirit of broadening the massive, ubiquitous learning networks we stuff under the MOOC umbrella, I present Ed Startup 101, a MOOC (labeled as such by its creators, though they make sure to define it outside of that auspice) designed around the ingredients and considerations for people interested in the world of Educational Technology start-ups.

I first became aware of Ed Startup 101 through following Richard Culatta on Twitter. I met Mr. Culatta in March at the Department of Educational Technology as part of a contingent from Pepperdine University. We had a group discussion for an hour, and I had a few minutes at the end to ask Mr. Culatta several questions.

Continue reading

Connectivism Applied: The Toddler Test

Recently I posted about my current research into connectivism and my belief that it is more pedagogial than theoretical.  I noted that my understanding of connectivism (something I consider integral to the discussions in #cfhe12) remains limited, and continued field use of the term would help me gain a broader understanding and perhaps come to different conclusions.  I didn’t realize such an opportunity would arise so soon as today while caring for my toddler.   Continue reading

Siemens on MOOC Theory / Classifying MOOCs

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