#CFHE12 #Oped12 MOOC as the Wonderland

If you haven’t read this post, you may wonder what Sebastian Thrun meant when he says:

“I feel like there’s a red pill and a blue pill,” he said. “And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill, and I’ve seen Wonderland.”

I had already experienced and seen that back in 2008 when I exclaimed here:

Then, there came the turbulence, power in between the pilots and passengers, when I have to fasten my seat belt.  It was a bumpy ride, and luckily, I have got my gears ready, and so I was safe and sound.  On one occasion, I took the breathing apparatus to keep alive.  But after a few more roller coaster rides, the complexity and chaos theories, the jargons, metaphors on friction, pipes, etc. I managed to focus on my exploration.  I finally understand where I am, and who I am talking to. And I soon got accustomed to the flight.

Once we have moved to the 9th week, we were safe.  And here came the landing in Week 12. Safe and sound landing on the wonderland of connectivism.

I am wondering what comes next, when many have now experienced the wonderland.

Ryan seems to suggest that xMOOCs are better than cMOOCs here.  I would try telling a story (narrative) in comparing the two.

What would be xMOOCs like?  xMOOCs are like going to a theme park where you know what is inside the park.  Every event is well organised, and shown on time, with measurable quality outcomes.


cMOOCs on the other hand is like visiting a wonderland where there is chaos, with the events all connected to each other, though you have to find out each of the event, by inquiring and exploring those events.  The event could turn up to be one searching for


Keith used the bee and bee hive story to illustrates the cMOOCs.

Apparently, when bees want to move their hive, the scout bees fan out in all directions. Most of them find nothing, but a few find something, and through their connections, they channel the other bees into these promising pathways until finally the way to a new hive emerges. What starts as chaos (MOOCers will be familiar with this sense of early chaos in a MOOC) turns out to be a highly efficient way to create new meaning for the hive.

Peter Sloep contrasts the xMOOCs the cMOOCs here and here.

May be both are spots in the Wonderland, just that we are visiting the spots (platforms) with different exciting events and activities.

Both MOOCs could have “wonders” for us to play, and see, though soon, some wonders would turn into private ones, where you need to pay, in order to enjoy.

Presently, they are still FREE.


4 thoughts on “#CFHE12 #Oped12 MOOC as the Wonderland

  1. Reblogged this on MOOC Madness and commented:
    Good post on x/c mooc differences, even without following all the links. I will but wanted to reblog this before forgetting or an interruption distracted me. Handy road map to help with wayfinding and sensemaking. Not all are. Just yesterday I read one that cited another post out of context. I had already read the cited post: the cognitive dissonance was both immediate and disturbing for coming from a respected source. What if I had not already read the post cited, discussed with a group? I might have taken the thumbnail review for true coin as no doubt other will.

  2. Thanks Vanessa, I did read that essay http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/11/29/essay-challenges-posed-moocs-liberal-arts-colleges and cited it in one of my posts.
    This could be interesting to read http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/11/experts-speculate-possible-business-models-mooc-providers#ixzz2AEv9ZYEl as it relates to the funding models. Administrators and education leaders and directors may be more interested in those business models, as they are the ones who want to create the wonderlands, for a fee or for free 🙂

  3. Yes, I read that one. Today, I was particularly struck by Peter Sloep’s comment about their potential to “change the game of higher education. Not just because some claim they will (Sebastian Thrun of Udacity) but also because many fear or predict they will. So, engaging in ongoing debate about them is necessary, to steer their future development and to be prepared for their potential influence on higher education”.

    I blog about and on behalf of higher ed adjunct labor. Lately, I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time and energy gently countering excesses of the fear reaction, mostly by advising that learning as much as possible is a better strategy than panic. I am old enough that the rancor of the wrong headed should not surprise me but it does.

    Your thoughts here and through the links in your piece are very much in alignment of my own and will (I hope) help me with my Sisyphean task


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s