In this post on Why Universities should experiment with Open Online Courses(with recording here), George was surprised (and disappointed) to read some of the comments left here.
Here is part of my previous post in response:
May I put these into philosophical propositions?
1. When you don’t see any rigid structure in MOOC, that is good, as MOOC should be personalized, having adaptive and amorphous structures that are all customized to suit the learners, not just the educators needs.
2. When there seems to be a chaotic structure in place, that is good, because such structure would challenge even the most intelligent and talented educators, scholars, professors and learners to sort them out, so everyone has to rethink and reflect about what it means to learn in a chaotic Web and internet based learning environment. That is the reality that we are facing, in times of flux.
3. Where there are more and more problems emerging out of MOOC design, delivery and development, that is good, because this would give a chance for scholars, researchers, administrators, educators, and learners to change and adapt their teaching and learning, based on a shift in the pedagogy, paradigms. This would challenge each of them to re-think about the importance, significance and implications of online participation (with a participatory culture), collaboration and cooperation, as a network, as a cluster of educators, researchers, and learners throughout the global networks, as an institution, or a partnership of institutional networks. This would stimulate and promote stakeholders to research, to learn and to improve and innovate altogether, in order to tackle the challenges ahead of us and that of our next generation. That is the change and transformation needed to keep abreast of knowledge and learning in an ever changing world.
4. Are we living in an era of disruptive digital media based ecology? The challenge is huge, but the reward is even bigger. The more we know, the more we know that we don’t know. And that is learning as growth and development, both individually and as connective and collective wisdom.
This is the time to celebrate the successes and failures, through experimentation, and possible failures of MOOCs, where educators and learners could learn together. Without trials, we never learn.
I would like to see evidences of claim on some comments: “Critical thinking skills, writing, and close reading cannot be taught in cyberspace.”
For comments: “I am sitting in the middle of a massive coffee-shop or bar and in the middle of hundreds of half-baked, uninformed conversations that while they may be interesting are nevertheless, not grounded in scholarship and since the tendency is for the bloggers and tweaters to flit from conversation to conversation I have no sense of any substantial engagement with any group about any topic.” This relates to personal experience. So, what would the commenter like instead, with MOOC?
I haven’t posted these comments with the Chronicle of Higher Education, as I think we want to illustrate how critical thinking is actually learnt through our conversation and discourse.
Would this be the spirit of MOOC?