Are MOOCs behaving like a Complex Adaptive System?

What is a Complex Adaptive System?

Within a Complex Adaptive system, what is complexity? What is intractability?

These are the concepts explained in the video by Igor Nikolic.

There are 4 important aspects that would contribute to the development of Complex Adaptive System:

- Bottom Up

- Gracefully failing

- Growing

- Together

These sound useful in viewing a Complex Adaptive System.

Are these “aspects” typical in organisation growth and development?  May be the last two aspects – growing together is what is encouraged in most organisations, with positive learning and development culture.  I am not sure if bottom up and gracefully failing is “positively supported and encouraged” or “hailed as positive learning”, except with those “best practice” networked organisations.

This is an important question, as we are witnessing a shift of interest from organisation to network – where MOOCs are now developed under organization and institutional setting.

If we were to examine the development of MOOCs – the traditional (connectivist or constructivist based) MOOCs and the recent “super (instructivist (blended with behaviorist, cognitivist and constructivist) and institutional based)” MOOCs, how far would we recognise them as Complex Adaptive Systems (of different kinds)?

How far would massive online education be exhibiting the features of Complex Adaptive System?  May be it is still Top down, though there would be little chance of gracefully failing, as this is undesirable, from an institutional management point of view, in the case of Super MOOCs.  Growing together requires more than institutions working together, but all participants and stakeholders actively engaging and interacting in the process of growth with MOOCs.  What would be needed to keep these super MOOCs sustainable?

I have shared some of my thoughts in my previous posts on how Complex Adaptive System would play a part in MOOC, here, here.

What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Are MOOCs behaving like a Complex Adaptive System?

  1. Pingback: Future of Education Part 2 MOOC as an adaptive system and network ecology | Learner Weblog

  2. Pingback: Are MOOCs behaving like a Complex Adaptive Syst...

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