Tony Bates continues his review on MOOCs here, where he says:
In particular, the designation of MOOCs as ‘democratizing education’ really needs to be carefully examined. Presumably, 135,000 learners who wanted to learn about AI were disappointed or unable to follow the Stanford AI course. If this was really about democratizing education, these students should have been accommodated in some way.With regard to connectivist MOOCs, I worry whether they are just preaching to the converted by reinforcing participants’ existing knowledge or values, or whether they lead to significant change in learners. They may do or they may not. We need more research on this. Octavo’s simple research study, although valuable, just reinforces the need for more thorough research, and we also need more experimentation, with different designs and approaches.
I think MOOC does provide an alternative pathway for learners (adult and mature adult learners in particular) to learn in a way that they might feel more comfortable with.
I was having a conversation with Lisa Lane, and we have been thinking about General Education courses such as English (literacy), Maths (numeracy) and History courses in community colleges or universities. Would MOOC be suitable for these cohort of learners? How would learning be supported with those learners in open networks and spaces?
Would wikieducator courses be the kinds of courses that you are looking for (Lisa Lane)? I think Nellie Deutsch has been facilitating lots of literacy and education technology courses using wikieducator’s platform. I have attended one session recently about use of “electronic pens” in classroom. It sounds interesting. I think it could be interesting to compare the different sorts of courses running on different pedagogy – like behaviorist-cognitivist, social constructivist (COPs), connectivist (MOOCs with CCK, Change11), and one that is a hybrid or blend of the above three pedagogy (yet to come?). If there is a possibility of running a semi-controlled experiment with these pedagogy and different teaching and learning strategies, then surely that would help us in gaining a better understanding of which ones are better suited for particular context.
What we have assumed sometimes is, with a certain groups of teachers and learners, such a pedagogy would work out successfully. It seems the strange attractors would play a part in this learning ecosystem, when interactions among people soon change the “direction” or pathway. Would activity theory, ANT, and Connectivism be a way to explain those phenomena when looking into these network formation and development? This seems to require a meta-research, but I think it could be quite interesting to learn.
I think Harold Jarche’s model might be helpful in understanding the types of networks, COPs or project teams that are used in learning on the web and networks.
Picture credit: from Jarche’s blog post