#PLENK2010 Research into the Design and Delivery of MOOC

I have been thinking about research on MOOC since CCK08.  Here I would like to give it a go, with open research with and through the Community of PLENK2010.

This involves opening up the process to anyone interested in the community, to post their views, comments and suggestions for development openly in any where one likes, or through various other medias like emails, messages in Facebook or Twitter that would ensure individual’s privacy.

How would it work?

First I would post my suggestions.

My suggested assumptions in MOOC include:

  • people would learn in a self-directed manner
  • Knowledge is distributed
  • Knowledge is negotiated
  • Knowledge is emergent
  • Knowledge is rhizomatic (thanks to Dave’s video posted – refer to How to be successful in MOOC?)
  • Learning is capacity to construct, navigate and traverse across networks
  • personal learning networks would be a far better way for people to learn
  • people like to learn via social networks
  • people know how to connect (people have the communication, literacy and critical literacy skills)
  • people know how to use the technology to connect
  • people are self motivated (intrinsic motivation)
  • people like to accept challenges, chaos and complexity is just part of the learning process
  • people don’t need to follow a course or qualification for learning to be effective
  • Learning is emergent, and is based on connections, engagement and interactions
  • Learning is open
  • Identity in networked learning is based on individual’s “participation, interaction” in the networks, and is reflective of ones involvement in the media, it’s dynamic, adaptive
  • Individual and social learning is emphasised – cooperation
  • Sensemaking and wayfinding are important
whereas on the other hand, the more formal or traditional education/learning approach or even the online approach of:
  • people need to learn in a structured manner, in a course (face to face or online), with teacher’s instruction (zpd) zone of proximal development,
  • people construct knowledge via a constructivist pedagogy – with an expert.
  • Knowledge is acquired
  • Learning is about acquisition of knowledge, skills and experience
  • people like to learn with Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  • people prefer to learn independently (in a closed environment) (behind the walls in schools) or learn collaboratively in a group or team
  • people don’t have enough skills, knowledge and experience to use technology to connect, formal training/education is the solution
  • people don’t want chaos, complexity – don’t want to be overwhelmed with information or knowledge
  • people need to be motivated with rewards (extrinsic motivation)
  • people need to follow a course or qualification for learning to be effective
  • Learning is based on instruction by the teachers
  • Learning is closed (in a closed classroom or closed online network)
  • Identity is based on the association of oneself as a student or that of the group – it’s static
  • Group learning is emphasised – collaboration
  • Teaching and close mentoring are important
I need to think more about the above, whether my assumptions about both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation will affect how people face challenges, technology and connecting / relating to others.
The above statements are just set to be a “polarised” one, and these are just my first thoughts.  I need to draw a mind map to show the relationship at a later stage, once I have re-visited our research papers on Blogs and Forums as Communication and Learning Tools in a MOOC and The Ideals and Reality of Participating in a MOOC.
If you felt comfortable with idea, it may be fun to collaborate together using a shared workspace for mind / concept map or drawing tool.
Besides, there are many other factors and concepts on learning that need to be included in this research.
I think it could be interesting to conduct research on PLENK2010 based on our experience and involvement in CCK08/CCK09/edfutures/CritLit2010.
I am not sure if we could thresh out some research questions, as a follow up study of CCK08.
Suggested title:
Essential critical success factors in the design and delivery of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
Note: based on PLENK2010/CCK09 experience
Research questions:
1. What are the design factors in an open online course?  (Consider the connectivist principles)
2. What are the delivery factors in an open online course?
3. How would educators and participants evaluate an open online course (PLENK2010)?
Research methodology:
Consider using a more open survey approach in the design and conduction of the research –
(a) email
(b) Twitter and Facebook or  Amplify, Delicious, Google Document AND wikis etc.
(c) blog
(d) voicethreads
(e) Google Wave
Research Approach:
1. Development of questionnaire
2. Conduction of survey
3. Analysis of findings
4. Writing up of paper
5. Final edit and publication of paper
The above suggestions are subjected to changes based on feedback from instructors, participants and review.
John Mak
You are welcome to post your comments on this research.  Please include the #PLENK2010 in you post.
Here is an excellent Youtube video created by Dave Cormier on How to be successful in a MOOC:
Postscript: I have set up a wiki here for this research
Here is the PLE posted by Stephen Downes in the Introductory Session – How this Course Works:
Thanks to Stephen Downes
Another great video by Dave Cormier (added on 14 September 2010)
A good reference on Social Learning
A current and useful reference on PLE PLN research

22 thoughts on “#PLENK2010 Research into the Design and Delivery of MOOC

  1. Hi John,
    This is a coherent discussion of a mooc. A couple of points stood out–the need for the learner to set goals, the rhisomatic nature of knowledge creation, the need to listen to others and connect to their conversation. Most adult learners in a mooc have multiple goals and are engaged in knowledge creation on many fronts, so that part is easy. The connection part poses challenges, not human, but technological. Thanks for bringing me in on the loop again. Way too much going on in the network right now! and lots more going on at work!! and in life is good! Look forward to PLENK2010. I need time to ponder the dichotomy. The dichotomy gets more at the preferences of novice and expert learners… Don’t know…. have to mow the lawn and ponder this…

  2. John, I can’t understand why are you tagging this course #PLENK2010 (with hashtag) Hahtags may be useful for twitter but I usually not even use them there

  3. Hi John
    I am still digesting your post, but my first reaction is that you might set up the dichotomy to say that
    Learning Assumptions in a MOOC are x,y,z etc
    Teaching Assumptions in a formal environment are a,b,c etc

    My sense is that some items in your list of formal environment attributes might be more true of teaching or institutional assumptions than they are of how learning actually happens.

  4. Thanks John,
    Great ideas on the set up of dichotomy: learning versus teaching assumptions. This would shed light on how MOOC is interpreted from different foci and perspectives.

  5. How about viewing MOOC as a complex adaptive system, which has a ‘life’ that is more than the sum of their component parts?
    These five concepts—self-organization, adaptation, upheavals at the edge of chaos, the unpredictability of the effects of small changes in the initial conditions, and the existence of simplicity at some levels while ‘chaos’ exists at others—form the fundamental concepts of complexity. How are these concepts revealed in the design and delivery of MOOC?

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