Tag Archives: Social Constructivism

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

Distance Education – Where MOOC Theory Hides

The initial problem with writing this dissertation was tracking down the learning theories behind Coursera-like MOOCs.  These business models are incredibly new, and their PR focuses on issues of access and affordability rather than theory and pedagogy.  Most searchable MOOC research focuses on cMOOCs, the connectivism-inspired MOOCs sired initially Siemens and Downes (which we will explore more heavily in the future, such as DS106).

It’s easy to forget that the MOOC is an extension of distance learning; in some respects, it is a fancier correspondence course.  Thus, the theory exists, it’s just hiding in the world of distance education.  Terry Anderson and Jon Dron explore the learning pedagogies (and theories) behind the evolution of distance learning, viewing the evolution of the field as in tune with the sociopolitical and sociocultural climates of the world at the time.   Continue reading