Teaching and Learning in MOOCs

What sort of teaching and learning experience is most valuable in MOOCs (xMOOCs in particular)?

In this video Peter Norvig reflects on his experience whilst teaching his AI MOOC.

Every student is a teacher, and every teacher is a student. Couldn’t agree more.  Relating to the setting of deadlines as an “innovation”, that sounds like a back to the basic – push to students, using a behavioral approach.  For me, I think it depends on what sort of learning is needed.  For deep and personalized learning, I do think we would need to allow more autonomy for the students, so they could set up the goals, pace their learning with timelines whenever possible, instead of setting the pace for everyone to take, just like that in a traditional classroom.  This would allow slow learners to learn more progressively, and fast learners to speed up their learning too.

Open versus close learning

Scott says in this Close Learning:

I propose that we begin calling it “close learning.” “Close learning” evokes the laborious, time-consuming, and costly but irreplaceable proximity between teacher and student. “Close learning” exposes the stark deficiencies of mass distance learning such as MOOCs, and its haste to reduce dynamism, responsiveness, presence.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/07/11/essay-calls-alternative-massive-online-learning#ixzz2YsrXRYFm
Inside Higher Ed

I see open and close learning the 2-sides of the same coin, just as rote/shallow and deep learning – that are all coined learning, just dependent on the approach of learning and the pedagogy employed. Here is my sharing.

MOOCs are platforms, tools (embedded with technology) and philosophy, where there is no one right set of approach, though one could use instructivism, cognitivism, constructivism and social constructivism, and connectivism.

The present xMOOCs seem to rely heavily on instructivism, and that seems to resonate with the super-professors and xMOOC providers and administrators. All the posts we found seem to relate to connectivism though, where collective wisdom is distilled through conversation, Socratic questioning and responses, and critique with more in-depth understanding of each others’ views.

To what extent are these compatible with the face to face (25 plus) students interactive experience? It depends on what sort of learning that we are referring to, isn’t it? If we are referring to prescriptive knowledge and definitive learning outcomes, surely face to face teaching and learning would be far better way to share the learning experiences, within the 1 hour session.

However, if you want to solicit more ideas, more “words” of wisdom from a diversified source, then the current blogging conversation (as part of PLE) would provide that sort of interesting points of views.

I reckon every learner is different, and that depends on the learning style, background knowledge, skills and experience, when it comes to learning. One size doesn’t suit all, and so are MOOCs. Treat MOOCs as tools, and if we like, an experiment and game to play with. If it doesn’t work, ask why, and how to make it work better. Is that what (we) want?

4 thoughts on “Teaching and Learning in MOOCs

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