What are schools for? Part 2

MOOCs are platforms that derived from schools.  This post is my reflection of what it means to study and learn with such virtual and digital school -MOOCs.

Indeed, there is a role for both x and c MOOCs as I have argued here.

As I shared in my posts, the learners’ needs may be segmented in accordance to a few categories – (a) those who are in high school, but would like to advance their knowledge or have some remedial knowledge through KA or preliminary courses in university, (b) those who are looking for university or degree education, (c) those who are graduates, and would like to use MOOC to further their professional development, and (d) those who are interested in life-long and continuing education, and (e) those who are retired or just have an interest in the course (MOOC).  Such diverse needs would also require different pedagogies – instructivist approach for those novice of (a), (b), a mix of social constructivist and or connectivist approaches for (c), (d) and (e).  Openness could be difficult to define, though would likely be based on individual’s preference.

So far if these MOOCs are truly providing the opportunities for the learners to network, learn, and that would benefit the community, not just for the sake of profits or monetization or privatization of education. Also, I must share that I am also part of this game in the entrepreneurship, and not holding a “socialist” point of view. I just think all these in terms of how could all improve education and learning for the learners and society, a win-win solution.

There is a saying: The purpose of education is learning, not teaching. To some extent, that is true, as I reflect on my own learning. I received education throughout my formal years of education, and I benefited a lot out of that.

I learn much also by myself – through reading, reflection and connection with others (outside institutions), and that make me think: my best learning starts when I have finished my formal education, where I have more time in those things that I am passionate about, and helping and supporting others, rather than the mere study or publication of research papers.

Good to reflect on Peter’s response to my post, yes, agreed. http://www.scoop.it/t/networked-learning-learning-networks/p/3995646692/what-are-missing-in-mooc-research-sui-fai-john-mak

John’s classification is a good starting point, but perhaps the categories of learners and pedagogies need to be refined. And that of course would bring in the whole discussion on learning styles and on media use (a good starter is Tony Bates’ recent blog post: http://tiny.cc/mn4nrw). Somewhere in that discussion (the various kinds of) xMOOCs and cMOOCs would no doubt fit.

But even with this attempt to take a more fine-grained look and bring in existing research, shouldn’t these high school kids somehow need to figure out how to learn socially anyway. If we do not already start their initiation at high school, when will we? I would argue that in this day and age, there is a wider perspective to efficiency of learning that needs to be taken into account, a lifelong learning one, that is. (@pbsloep)

To this end, I could anticipate a very different pattern in the findings of cMOOCs and xMOOCs when the pedagogy is “pre-determined” for the learners, though there are certain emergent “pedagogy” that would be interesting to explore – such as a mix of connectivist and instructivist (mastery learning) and flipped learning as could be evident in the xMOOCs learning pattern.

In conclusion, MOOCs seem to be an extension of the school (especially in Higher Education), though this is more apparent with the xMOOCs as the presence of instructors, content, video lectures, LMS and forum discussions, assessment, and various supports are available to the students.  What makes it different from the face-to-face school setting may be the “lack of interaction” and discourse with the instructors directly “face-to-face” and the lack of participation in those social activities in the physical schools.  But could these be supplemented by other social media activities as in FB, Google Hangout, Skype, Twitter?

How about your learning through the xMOOCs or cMOOCs?  Do you see any particular learning pattern for particular subjects or cohorts of participants?

One thought on “What are schools for? Part 2

  1. Pingback: What are schools for? Part 2 | e-learning-ukr ...

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