#Change11 “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind” – Is that the MOOC movement?

Some of you who were born in the 60s or before might have watched this, but this would be remembered forever.

What is happening now with a similar motto, though different nature is the Education Revolution that has been promised through edX:

Will this be the future of Higher Education around the Globe?  The MOOC Movement that we are witnessing this year.  We have seen the rise of MOOC though since 2008, or even before where Stephen wrote in Rise of MOOCs and Tony reflected on MOOCs here.

I am interested in the research mentioned in the edX and edX release:

“Harvard and MIT will use these new technologies and the research they will make possible to lead the direction of online learning in a way that benefits our students, our peers, and people across the nation and the globe,” Faust continued.

Research to Enhance Residential Model

EdX will enhance the traditional residential model of undergraduate education on both campuses by supporting an unlimited number of experimental online approaches to teaching that can be used by Harvard and MIT faculty and which will benefit students in Cambridge and Boston. It will also have the benefit of providing global access to some of the world-class instruction that already occurs in Cambridge and Boston, but which is only one aspect of the full Harvard College and MIT experience.

Some questions relate to

1. How we learn?

2. How to use classroom more effectively?

3. How to use technology in online education?

4. How technology has enabled us to learn?

I think we might have addressed some of the questions in our previous MOOCs in Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, PLENK2010, and Change11.

There are however many “wicked problems“, challenges and opportunities that relate to MOOCs, when it is open to global networks, that there are as many solutions as there are problems generated.



So, what I would like to start with is my suggestion of challenging the assumptions, based on Assumption Theory.

What are the assumptions behind MOOC using the different approaches here in MOOC?

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 connec(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
I would like to respond to reflections by
1. Doug: the problems with MOOC
in coming posts.

6 thoughts on “#Change11 “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind” – Is that the MOOC movement?

  1. Pingback: #Change11 On MOOC – my reflection Part I | Learner Weblog

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  4. Pingback: Are we at the intersection of an education revolution? | Learner Weblog

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  6. Pingback: #Change11 “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind” – Is that the MOOC movement? | ACS Dialogue on MOOCs | Scoop.it

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