Thanks to Stephen Downes on the referred paper. The authors conclude:
This review has demonstrated that MOOCs have a sound pedagogical basis for their formats. What we have not addressed however are the larger questions around whether taking a collection of MOOCs could replace obtaining an education on campus at a university in all of its facets of personal development and education.
I tend to agree with Stephen’s comments in that there wasn’t any reference to the cMOOCs.
I shared Peter’s views and concerns:
I have some quarrels with this conclusion. By generalizing over all sorts of contexts, the authors effectively suggest that context only introduces error, never systematic bias. However, context does matter both qualitatively and quantitatively.
That means that the conclusion that MOOCs have built on a solid foundation is premature. All we can conclude is that there is no evidence yet that they have not been built on a solid foundation.
I appreciate the authors consolidating the merits of using different “pedagogical approaches” towards online learning in the review and conducting the research, which is urgently needed. The evidences presented relating to previous researches were however mostly based on structured “closed” courses offered to limited number of students, without much consideration of the various context or situation under xMOOCs.
How would those previous research findings be matched to the current MOOC? Are we assuming that what worked in the past formal courses could be repeated in the current xMOOCs? What are the assumptions behind such “sound pedagogical basis”?
To what extent are those evidences mapped to the xMOOCs? It seems such a pedagogical framework of xMOOCs is pre-determined by the MOOC providers rather than being grounded on research.
In summary, the authors have assumed that when all the other previous pedagogy were sound in those courses, then this “demonstrated that MOOCs have a sound pedagogical basis for their formats”. I think more research findings and evidences are needed to substantiate the claim in the case of an open education and learning platform – on xMOOCs.
There is also an urgent need to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the cMOOCs and xMOOCs in terms of their pedagogical approaches, and how the learners experienced learning in the respective MOOCs.
I do hope to conduct such research in the near future.