#Change11 On MOOC – my reflection Part 3

Hi George, I shared your views, on the learning arena for MOOCs. I have shared my views in my post.

“The New MOOCS seem to be aimed at undergraduates and those new to the business, novices perhaps. Certainly the Bonkopen MOOC is a highly taught course, much more of the closed prescriptive type.” I think a target market for MOOCs could be an interesting research as this could reveal and confirm the cohort of learners who would be interested in particular types of MOOCs. MOOCs of a technical or technological nature would appeal more to information technologists, engineers and applied scientist (students, teachers, lecturers). These MOOCs also fit well in the University curriculum studies, so undergraduates and may be graduates of the particular disciplines would surely benefit much from the study. Would those MOOCs (computer science, electrical engineering) appeal to social science students or scientists? I would be interested to learn how people choose the MOOCs, and how people learn through those MOOCs.

With the watching of the short video clips, followed by quizzes, or engagement in forum discussion, and assignment and exam, this seems to be the typical “instructivist” – behavioral and cognitivist approach towards learning, coupled with constructivist approach if the students are supported and engaged in forum or blog discussion. The main goals with these MOOCs are still to ensure more students are able to pass the course, achieve the prescribed learning outcomes, and perform to the standards required through quizzes, tests and examinations. It could be interesting to see how students would self-organise their learning, without “too much” guidance by the professors. There could be challenges like people sharing their answers to quizzes, assignments, or examination questions and answers, that may be viewed as inappropriate behavior. Cheating, plagiarism and copying of each others’ answers could occur when standard tests and examinations are used. In the case of connectivist courses, learners would likely aggregate, remix, re-purpose and feed-forward their responses (in their assignment) (probably based on individual’s PLE), and so it is unlikely be “treated” as plagiarism, or copying, unless the whole response (like a blog post) is a mere repetition or copy of others’ posts. May be a connectivist approach would challenge both students and professors to think of innovative and creative ways to develop assessment, thus overcoming the problem of plagiarism inherent in the assignments or examinations. Also, this would encourage educators and learners to focus more on learning – which means understanding, thinking, reflection, application and action, that would be reflective in getting a good grade in passing the course.
Is it necessary to differentiate the trad & new MOOCs? Yes.
What would you like to add, in the criteria of differentiation?


3 thoughts on “#Change11 On MOOC – my reflection Part 3

  1. Interesting question. I spent a half-hour at a university yesterday trying to explain that not all MOOCs have 100,000 people in them, and expand on the strong traditions of building shared learning instead of rote and machine-grading. Some level of re-framing with expanded terms might help a lot. Maybe Shared MOOCs vs. Funnel MOOCs? I’m pushing to create a new endeavor that is more Shared than Telecourse-driven Funnel, more action-research by its members than machine-measured. Yet I have to invest time to work with organizational folks that there is a broader breed than the recent high-funded Funnels.

  2. Agree that the Bonk MOOC and the tightly taught ones are typically “instructivist” with the possibility of “constructivist” if the students act on the material in some way, reflecting and reconstructing their understandings.
    At what point could this become “connectivist” if the actions are on the internet and interaction/development of ideas takes place? Or do you start off in the “connectivist” world by the type of MOOC you are undertaking (the Trad one of our discussion)?
    Have not been here from the start (from the original MOOCs) so don’t know if the vets consider the MOOCs aimed at novices as real MOOCs.
    I like your approach to assessment – if we take all answers to form part of a connectivist network, then the “right” answer is not owned but shared. Demonstration of understanding comes from the way you go about dealing with the understanding gained (in participation with others) rather than a closed test or exam.

  3. At what point could this become connectivist if the actions are on the internet and interaction/development of ideas takes place? https://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/change11-connectivism-and-constructivism-whats-similar-and-different/ We are all connected with our local communities and networks in certain ways, patterns, but with technology as media, and social media as “catalyst” and agents, we are now able to reach different corners of the world, beyond the traditional closed walls (schools, classes) or local groups or communities. The tyranny of space and time could also be overcome with such a connectivist approach. So, whilst constructivist approach addresses the construction of meaning between agents (mainly human, or actor networks), connectivist approach goes beyond that through multiple agents, multiple actor networks, technology and tools, and most important of all, with a basis of openness, autonomy, diversity and connectedness (properties of networks) in order to strengthen the learning.

    For an elaboration on the characteristics of early MOOCs, you will find them in George and Stephen’s various posts. You could also find some papers in my publications on the right hand side of this blog menu, which documented how the MOOCs were designed, delivered and developed. The MOOCs are evolving and emerging and so they are based on adaptive, self-organising and emergent learning principles, rather than the static prescriptive instrumental learning principles. An ideal MOOC to me would likely be distributed over different learning spaces, which again would align with learners’ different and changing needs and goals. As Stephen mentioned the product of learning is the learner, and so the learning is based on a growth model where learner’s growth of “knowledge” and wisdom with the navigation and construction of networks upon time. This also requires pruning of obsolete network patterns (outdated concepts, information, knowledge etc.), with the growing and nurturing of new and emergent network patterns.

    This is also one of the most difficult and challenging part of education and learning, as it challenges the values of traditional canonical knowledge often prescribed in books and are determined by authorities, and are confined to be “delivered” in a closed wall settings. With the rapid changes in information and knowledge landscape, such ways of “transmitting” information and knowledge limited the discourse and inquiry, reducing knowledge to a set of memorable known facts, information, or procedures which, if understood would constitute learning.

    Answers to questions, if shared would provoke further thinking and reflection, in a connectivist learning ecology. As each of us may look at the answers from our own lens, experience, we could then share our understanding, and critique on the “strengths” and “weaknesses” of those answers, and thus be able to improve or innovate through deeper inquiry and critical thinking. This is also based on a social scientific approach where “truths” are revealed in light of evidences and arguments, rather than the mere showing of facts and figures in experimentation.

    I think it would be necessary to write a paper elaborating on the changes in MOOCs since their inception.

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