If you build it, they will come!

MOOCs is a bad idea, just like books.  It turns out that this bad idea becomes one of the very first ideas to transform higher education, as witnessed in these few years.

If you build it, they will come, that is where internet was built, the itune was built, and now the MOOCs.

People will come, when there are super professors, elite institutions, and venture capital investors building up the MOOCs.  People are yearning for knowledge, higher education, even though if it is costing them something, just that something they could afford.

People will watch the best professors of the elite institutions presenting their lectures, so far if they could access those videos for free, from any where in the world.   They would be especially thankful, if they are from those developing or under-developing countries, who don’t even have access to Higher Education, or that they are too costly for them.

It is a great idea, coming from the freebies, as I have shared in my past post.  Believe in MOOCs, that would be sustainable, if educators and venture capitalists, institutions are going to build it.  Surely, there would be millions or billions of people coming, who are looking for free Higher Education.

MOOC is a great idea, not a bad one.  Huh!  It motivates people to get the best education in the world!

If you build MOOC, people will come.  Just a matter of time, and how much you could invest into it.

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Motivation and Intention in participating and engaging with MOOCs

Is intention an appropriate measure of success of MOOCs?

I reckon each person’s intention in MOOCs is different, though the participation and engagement could likely fall into patterns similar to the four archetypes of MOOCs.

My proposition and assumptions relating to motivation and intention in participating and engaging with MOOCs include:

Psychological factors, Like/dislike of MOOCs (as public/commoditised/monetised goods), credentials achivement, & pedagogy used in MOOC as perceived by people could make a difference.

1. How would people’s perception impact on their intention to learn with MOOCs?

1.1 What factors would determine people’s intention to enroll into MOOCs?

– These students/participants intend to browse and audit the programs.  These participants could include: (a) professors, educators and experts in their field or other fields who would like to have a sense of feel on what MOOCs are, and how they are run; (b) researchers and Master or PhD students who would like to conduct researches on MOOCs, as part their faculties requirements or qualification requirements; (c) participants who are life-long learners, who might have got a degree in the field, or in other fields, but are interested in the field of study.  There might be some people who like the pedagogy, and others who dislike the pedagogy.

– These students/participants intend to engage and interact with part of the course content and or other participants with discussion boards.  These participants could include those of the above, but with an intent to complete a few to most of the activities, assessments or examinations,  but have no intention of getting credits or expecting credentials out of the MOOCs

– These students/participants intend to engage and interact fully with the course content and other participants with the LMS.  These participants are more inclined to like the pedagogy adopted, though again there may be a minority of participants who dislike the approach, but not willing to disclose their emotions or feelings in open public.  These sort of feelings towards courses are typical in learners attending most institution based courses.  Feelings of loneliness, lack of interaction with others and professors, and lack of “support” that relate to motivation could be issues and concerns.  Others include the messiness and frustration emerging from the participation in forum and discussion boards, when trolling and “tangential discussions”, negative criticisms are present in the forum postings, and the concerns of moderation.

1.2 What factors would determine people’s intention to like/dislike MOOCs?

1.3 How would such likes/dislikes translate into learning in MOOCs?

1.4 To what extent would learning styles impact on one’s motivation to learn in MOOCs (xMOOCs in particular)?

1.5 How would each of the factors, likes/dislikes and learning styles relate to the four archetypes of MOOCs – lurkers, passive learners, active learners and drop-ins?

2.  Teaching, social and cognitive presence are often cited as the most important factors in successful online presence.  To what extent are these presence contribute to the successful learning in xMOOCs?

3. What are the goals and motivation of xMOOCs participants?

In this article on 6002x-data-offer-insights-into-online-learning (full article here):

It is noteworthy that:

Participation and performance do not follow the rules by which universities have traditionally organized the teaching enterprise:  MOOCs allow free and easy registration, do not require formal withdrawals, and include a large number of students who may not have any interest in completing assignments and assessments.

This finding aligns with what have been found in previous research:

As our research on PLENK (cMOOCs) revealed, many participants of cMOOCs are putting assessment as (lowest) in priority. This is different from the xMOOCs where assessment is given a high priority by the instructors (professors), and may be some students, especially the undergraduate students who would like to use that to improve their performance with their own courses. Besides, there are lots of graduates and adult learners and educators in cMOOCs who are more interested in learning about the pedagogy, the different learning theories, and the emergent tools and technology. They may already have got their qualifications, or that they aren’t keen in being assessed, or being “instructed” under a “mastery learning approach”. There are also professors, experts, professionals who wish to know how MOOCs are designed and run, and how they might be used in their own fields. These all “contradict” to the initial design of xMOOCs, though could be easily accommodated in cMOOCs, as that is exactly what cMOOCs are designed for.

It should be stressed that over 90% of the activity on the discussion forum resulted from students who simply viewed preexisting discussion threads, without posting questions, answers, or comments.

This is not surprising at all, as such pattern of involvement in discussion forum has repeatedly appeared in previous cMOOCs (see Rita and her colleagues’ research publications on MOOCs).  It is typical to note a highly active participation or posting on the discussion forum at the start of a MOOC followed by an exponential drop in the later part of the course.  Such pattern of engagement may vary from cMOOCs to xMOOCs though as the xMOOCs have numerous assessment components (like homework, examinations) which may lead students to post questions in the discussion forum.

Discussions were the most frequently used resource while doing homework problems and lecture videos consumed the most time.

There are also differences in the cohort of students, with xMOOCs more likely consisting of younger students compared to that of those in cMOOCs.  A more in-depth analysis of the student populations would be needed to compare the xMOOCs and cMOOCs students’ populations.

In xMOOCs, success has been defined by the research authors as the grades students earned.  Measure of success as “achievement”.

In cMOOCs, success has yet to be defined, though many researchers and educators have proposed it to be defined as the achievement of personal goals as set forth whilst participating and engaging with cMOOCs.

“This is also noteworthy that majority of students (75.7%) did not work offline with anyone on the MITx material.”  and that those who did work offline with others have achieved 3 points higher than those who didn’t.  This again illustrates that many students of xMOOCs would likely learn on their own, without resorting to the “help” or “support” from others, especially with a technical course such as MITx- 6002x.

This pattern of online learning seems to coincide with the current mode of learning in an online learning environment, where most students are still learning on their own, with or without the use of PLE/PLN.

Would this pattern of engagement be typical for xMOOCs humanities courses?

These questions posted in the article are interesting for further exploration.

What are students’ goals when they enroll in a MOOC? How do those goals relate to the interaction with various modes of instruction or course components? What facilitates or impedes their motivation to learn during a course? How can course content and its delivery support students’ self-efficacy for learning? Similarly, how can online environments support students’ metacognition and self-regulated learning? Do interventions such as metacognitive prompts and guided reflection improve student achievement or increase retention?

Is Connectivism a New Learning Theory – Part 2

Here is my response to George and others’ comments to my previous post of Is Connectivism a New Learning Theory?

Hi George, Agreed that the theory has to work at an individual level, and it would have to explain and predict how your learning could or do occur. My questions to you include: How do you learn? How has learning occurred to you?

Do you learn through building and or navigation of networks (aggregation, curation of information sources), personal level (neuronal-level connections, thinking and reflection of personal experience (what sort of changes in behavior?), and way of thinking with conceptual connections of various concepts based on those experiences (sense-making)?

In this way Connectivism is based on a thesis that learning is a networking phenomenon and that knowledge is where one could sense and recognise the pattern emerging out of the building and navigation of the networks. Learning is then a dynamic process, with certain adaptive properties associated with the networks, which could happen under a Complex Adaptive System and Knowledge Ecology (Chatti, 2012) (such as a MOOC). This means that when information changes, a person would need to examine the knowledge pattern resulting from those changes. The MOOC movement and the implications are good example illustrating such knowledge pattern. No one single expert (of MOOCs) so far has fully been able to definitely explain the knowledge and learning that are embedded in MOOCs for both the networks and individuals.

However, when individual professors and all associated learners are co-evolving and co-learning with the learners, each would sense the learning emerging out of the interactions or engagement, with some perceiving knowledge and learning with different degrees of meaning – based on sense-making.

Professors and learners (some, if not all) would each define their way-finding (goal setting, learning how to explore their own pathways) resulting from those exploration, connections, engagement or interaction. These sort of learning also result in various interpretations of what constitutes self-determined learning, self-organising learning (both individually and networks and groups) and emergent knowledge and learning, apart from prescriptive knowledge and learning.

There are people who may learn and interact differently from those as defined under the “formalised” and theorised learning approaches, based on legitimate peripheral learning (as peripheral learners) or other reasons (<a href=”http://www.col.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/MOOCsPromisePeril_Anderson.pdf&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>Anderson, 2013</a>).

Such patterns of both individual and social learning are appearing in various forms throughout the cMOOCs in repeated ways, and also re-emerging in xMOOCs despite the “assertion” that the pedagogy is based on Mastery Learning. Indeed, you could associate the learning associated with Connectivism to be an integration of the previous learning theories of behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism and situated learning (and COPs) all based on connections and interactivity (Connectivism).

May I relate to my previous post:”How would a connectivist approach work? Yes, you still require the deconstruction of the student’s existing thinking, but not just based on the teacher’s input. Rather, you would suggest the students to be immersed in networks, based on navigating activities and the using of appropriate tools or media (i.e. media and technology affordance), in exploring about the “right” and “wrong” concepts, and discerning those right from wrong through navigation tools and reflective thinking. This is similar to what I have suggested here:

The concepts that are crystallised through such networked learning may be based on the ability of the learner to recognise and interpret the pattern (i.e. principally on the navigation and exploration, with or without the teachers), rather than the demonstration of the teacher and explanation of the concepts via “Constructivism or Social Constructivism”. This means that the concept development under Connectivism is far more reaching than the typical “classroom” or social networks environment, but would also include technological and media enhancement for its nourishment.”

There are lots of factors which could impact or influence a person’s learning under such a knowledge ecology (MOOCs), including the authority and power exerted through formal authority, professors, peers etc. and the emotional and affective dimensions (likes/dislikes of certain aspects) emerging from the interaction with course, professors, experts, networks, peers, preference of learning based on individual learning styles, autonomy and self-determination or organisation of individuals, and most importantly personal educational and learning experience which would ultimately impact on one’s perception and appreciation or adoption of those properties of networks – openness, diversity, autonomy, and connectivity or interactivity.

Thanks again for your valuable comments and insights.

References:
Anderson, T. (2013). Promise and/or Peril: MOOCs and Open and Distance Education (accessed 3/5/2013)

Chatti, M. (2012). The LaaN Theory

Cooperation and collaboration in MOOCs

As the MOOCs move on, I would like to reflect on this cooperation and collaboration in MOOCs based on

1. Stephen’s posts on collaboration and cooperation here.

2. My previous post here.

3. Benjamin’s referred article here.

I have been thinking about learning based on a network versus group approach and here is my summary:

1. Cooperation is best achieved in a network learning environment where each learner shares ideas and learning.  Here each individual’s learning would be more important than the performance.

2. Collaboration is best achieved in a group learning environment where each learner is agreeing to achieve goals together.  Here group performance would be more important than individual learning or performance.

Here in an example on the production of a video using a group’s efforts. Collaboration leads to better outcomes at work.

3. Where individuals don’t find cooperation or collaboration to be useful, they could still work and learn by themselves, though such learning and performance would be based on individual’s efforts.  This could still be achieved in both x and c MOOCs, I reckon.

In  summary, each of the three approaches outlined here – connectivist, facilitative and instructivist approach would impact on how cooperation, collaboration and competition is achieved.  The learner centered approaches would likely lead to more cooperation and collaboration, whilst the teacher centered approaches would likely lead to collaboration and competition among the learners and the educators.

If online students aren’t engaged, what would you do as an educator?

This post on If online students aren’t engaged, blame their teachers sounds pretty strong: in blaming the teachers.

I think there is a fundamental assumption here, that the blog author Alexandra associates the causal relationship between engagement and education, and then learning.

Do online students need to be engaged in order to learn?  Yes, if learning is defined in “engagement” terms.  It depends on what sort of engagement that we want the learners to be engaged in.  If I were to learn how to critique on a blog post based on arguments and evidences, then I would likely conduct research, curate related blog posts or artifacts, and reflect on my own experiences, in order to comment and evaluate the post.  So, would I need  teachers in guiding me through such critique?  May be, if I don’t have the skills.  Assuming that I have the necessary skills, I don’t see why I wouldn’t be engaged in this reflective learning through blogging.  Do I need teachers’ intervention?  Again, this is not always needed, if I am well motivated. When it comes to posting my post on the social media platforms, I could choose my own blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google + etc.  This has no direct relationships with the teachers too, though the teacher (professor) could suggest that my blog to be posted on certain platform or LMS.

This illustrates that online students are engaged based on a number of factors, like motivation, skills and literacies possessed, and the appropriate learning environment.

If the professors are engaging with the students mainly through online video postings, like the Khan Academy, or many other videos offered by institutions or providers, again this depends on what the students are looking for, and whether they would like to engage in such video watching activities.  For me, Khan videos are too “elementary” and as I shared in my previous posts, I wouldn’t be able to make a fair judgment, not because it is too “good” or having a lot of views, but that I don’t need them in my learning at all.  So, am I engaged in those sorts of learning?  I watch lots of video lectures, without any professor’s guidance, or direction.  But I also ask lots of questions, and reflect on many videos, based on my critical self reflective questioning, and conversation with others.  If I didn’t learn much out of the video lectures, I don’t blame any others, including the teachers, or professors,  or the education system, and not myself.  I ask questions on: “If I were to re-design my learning, what would I do?” instead.

So, my question is: If online students aren’t engaged, should we blame the teachers?  Why? What is critical here is that the teachers could never fully understand the needs and expectations of the students, especially in an online environment.  What the teachers could have done instead is to explore and use different ways to help and support the students.  If students still aren’t engaged in online learning, perhaps, online learning could be done using other means, as I have shared in my reflection above.

So, ask the learners how they would like to learn, and what, when, where, who they would like to learn with.  Remember that learning is both a thinking and action process, based on reflection, problem solving and decision making.  If we don’t help our colleagues and learners to think more deeply in improving and innovating their learning and teaching practices, we may end up with a blaming game, that would lead us to desperation, and a lose-lose situation.

If we reflect on what is happening in MOOCs (xMOOCs), do we see praises and critiques on both sides, with “blames” and strong criticisms, followed by defenses and strong views – that we are right, you are not that “right” here and there, with or without much evidences sort of conversation or discourse.  That may be the type of discourse that we are looking for in Higher Education, in collective inquiry and a philosophical debate.

I do think it is interesting to look into both sides of the coin, on why some people are engaged, and so many people are totally dis-engaged for all sorts of reasons (as in xMOOCs), and then re-think about what it means by the pedagogy employed (Mastery Learning, flipped classroom, and discussion boards or forums based on LMS).  In theory these pedagogy SHOULD work best in xMOOCs.  In practice, we need to reflect upon what is going right, and what could be done better.

Finally, it seems that we are still relying much on lecturing as a principal way of conveying and transmitting information.  If online students aren’t engaged, who should we blame?  I don’t think any one would blame the whole education system, as that means you have to change the whole education system.

Consider the following:

1. Adopt creative classroom, and creative learning where learners and educators could co-learn and thus co-evolve in the online learning ecology.

2. Adopt a diversified pedagogy, like Constructivism, Social Constructivism and Connectivism, and Digital Pedagogy or Netagogy as shared in my previous posts, and use problem and project based learning to engage the learners.

3. Create a win-win learning environment, by encouraging colleagues and learners to immerse in learning networks, community or network of practice.

4. Encourage and support professors, educators and learners to create PLE/PLN and eportfolios as evidences of education and learning.  Role model and demonstrate how one could create such a learning practice as an educator and empower the learners to practice and learn pro-actively in an open learning environment.

5. Motivate others by providing adequate incentives and positive reinforcements, through feedback and rewards.  I understand that this may relate heavily on a behavioral approach.  But is it true that it always works, especially with our colleagues and learners?

We are all learning together, locally and globally in this social world of education.  Each of us is a change agent, a leader of learning and education.  It’s just a matter of providing peer support and leadership that we could move education and learning forward, in this 21st century.

Positive Psychology and Resilience

What is positive psychology and resilience?

Why would I like to reflect on these concepts and principles of positive psychology?

There are a few messages here by Tal Ben Shahar in his video lecture on Positive Psychology – Lesson 2:

How to be successful and resilient in life?

– Optimism

– Faith and a sense of meaning

– Prosocial behavior

– Focusing on strengths

– Set goals

– A role model

– Social support

Tal stresses the importance of asking the “right” questions in quest of life, in the pursuit of happiness (my interpretation).

“Questions create reality.”  I think this is a good point.  I would add another important question: “Why would you like to challenge the assumptions about happiness?”  Have we assumed that what the researchers found about happiness would lead us to a happier life?  Why would we form such a “belief”? Is happiness based on experience?

As Tal mentioned, 80% of college students experienced depression, and 47% of students have experienced a certain form of serious depression.  He quoted that as the case of Harvard University students.  It would be interesting to look deeper into the research survey to find out the reasons why students were depressed.   Some of the reasons seemed to point out the stressful life in HE study, and the immense changes within the few years of undergraduate studies in order to adapt to the “academic” and “social” life in colleges and universities.

He quoted the work of Marva Collins, and explained why he decided to become a teacher, all because of the wonderful work and inspiration of Marva.  Marva inspired her students to look at the positive things, the strengths instead of weaknesses of ourselves.

All these sound positive, as I would also assume that these are the primary reasons why most of us are looking for social belonging, ego and actualization, as proposed by Abraham Maslow, back in the 1950s till 70s.

Why aren’t these messages not being understood by most people?  The message could be very simple: most people when experiencing unfortunate events or un-anticipated changes might start blaming others, or themselves.  Here Tal suggested: “Stop blaming others, take responsibility of your life”.

This reminded me of the basis of positive psychology:

I think there are certain assumptions here on positive psychology that may be interesting for “me” to explore.

1. Have we assumed that people are interested in learning together in a social way?  Is social = happiness? How about those introverted people who don’t like too much of socialising?  Indeed in certain religions, people don’t always prefer to fully socialise if that is against their wish and autonomy.  In other words, being social may only impose tensions on their spiritual growth.  So, there are cultures where people would believe that we need to look inside us for happiness and well being, rather than looking outward for material happiness and success.   If what people are looking for is success, then they need to consider what prices and sacrifices that they have to pay or endure in their journey of success.

Resilience is surely needed to achieve success.  But why are people still preferring to the introverted style of living?  If 1/3 of the population is made up of introverted people, is education about changing them to become more extroverted?

2. Have we assumed that every day is important to each of us?  Isn’t it why we call the time now as “present”?

“Seize the day”

3. Have we assumed that being positive and looking for positive could bring the positive parts from each of us?

Why are we still looking for questions like: What are my weaknesses?  How could I improve? Are these just focus on what we are NOT good at, and not what we are really GOOD at?

I have once thought that we all think we could do better, not because we want to do better than others, but to become a better person ourselves. As shared in Tal’s presentation, we are human “beings” – the being that is too important that we might have forgotten.

My reflection and learning is: “Don’t blame any others, including any education system, but take personal responsibility in re-shaping, adapting, or changing the way we think, learn or behave when things don’t go our way”.  We must pave our way out from the chaotic and uncharted course of life, in order to take hold of our destiny.  No one could decide our destiny for us, without our consent.

Be resilient and be passionate in what you believe and interested in life and you would be able to achieve success, and be happy.

In MOOCs, more is less, and less is more (Part 1)

What do I mean by the more is less and less is more in MOOCs?

There are two types of MOOCs,  the cMOOCs and xMOOCs.  We have more x MOOCs than c MOOCs.  We might however have less chance to transform education, if we don’t go beyond the boxes in thinking and designing the learning.  There would be less “learning” if we are  to adhere only to the traditional way of teaching and learning – by mere lecturing, video taking, or just flipping the classroom, without reflecting and learning what they mean to our education and learning.

In this part 1, I would focus on c MOOC.

More is less in Connectivist MOOCs:

The more connections there are in c MOOCs, the less effective it seems to individual learners in learning when information or ” knowledge” is “pushed to the learners”.  Most learners (novices) would find difficulties in filtering information, in online learning such as MOOCs.  There are also associated emotions of confusion, feelings of overwhelming of information, and self-doubt in confidence when using new and emerging technology, or in conversing with others in social and learning networks.

In nearly all cMOOCs, the caveat is:

Adopt a pull approach in filtering information, pattern recognition and knowledge creation or construction.  McMOOC is a knowledge and learning ecology.  May I call it a McMOOC – The Meta Connectivist MOOCs?

As Jenny says:

Maybe a better approach is to focus on the novices, i.e. get the mentors working with them from the word go (my understanding is that the mentors haven’t started yet), make posts which explicitly state what the nature of open courses is, tell them to expect to be confused and find it overwhelming, tell them to pick and choose and so on.

The more novices there are in a MOOC, the more “guidance or direction” there seems to be required in order that the novices won’t get lost in the midst of chaos of information and space.   ‘Safety’ and ‘constraints’ might need to be considered in the design (Mackness, 2012).  However, too much protection and guidance given to the novices would only turn a c MOOC into a traditional or typical online MOOC, which would again deter novice learners from learning how to learn through “experience”.

Besides, advanced learners, veterans, knowledgeable others and experts  in the MOOCs who are there to support novices would find it difficult to help others, if they don’t see clearly what their roles are in the MOOCs.

Jenny again:

Pedagogy First course site, for example, we are urged to keep our posts short, to not use ‘jargon’, to not discuss things that might be ‘jumping ahead’ in the syllabus, to focus only on the tasks required by the syllabus, to not post anything controversial. If we want to do this, then we should not tag our posts with ‘potcert’ even if we think the topic is related to online pedagogy.

With the novices in MOOCs, less “complicated post” is needed, in terms of “less words” in posts, and less number of “expert” advice from different sources, as such advice could be confusing, and conflicting for them.

What sort of spaces would be helpful in learning?

Lisa in her post higher-ed-and-the-monastic-space says:

Our exciting “new models” for higher education are models that counter industrialized and standardized education, which is great. They emphasize collaborative work, social learning, and the affordances of the web in achieving greater learning through guided exploration and community, all fabulous things. But in promoting them as a substitute for “old style” learning, they also risk eliminating a place that may have become the last monastic space in which to work with the mind.

There are different spaces for learning. I think the old style learning has its genesis rooted in which learning existed in closed spaces, and often learning in solitude.

I found solitary learning quite enjoyable, though it is also challenging, as that requires lots of self-organised, disciplined and paced learning in order to succeed, when there aren’t lots of people learning with you.

For me, the physical spaces and virtual spaces could serve different learning purposes.  c MOOC is resorted to the virtual space, but offer spaces that are distinctly less confronting than the physical spaces, with face-to-face teaching and learning.

More connections, more experience with less dependence on “teaching”

When I first joined CCK08, I realized the importance of striking a balance between connections and expert advice at an early stage of the course.

Most people might get confused when they think a c MOOC is like a traditional online course where the teacher teaches, and the students learn and consume the knowledge from the course, like reading a book, an artifact, or watching and listening to a video lecture, and be assessed on what has been taught or covered in the texts and references.  That was the instructivist approach – based on behavioral/cognitivist learning theory, where the learners master the content, probably with the transfer of knowledge from one person/information source to that of the learner.

What actually happens in a cMOOC, and is expected is: the learners would learn best through participating in the various discourse, engaging with the learning activities, projects, interacting with each others (instructors, participants, peers, guest speakers or experts etc.), and connecting through a diverse space and learning platforms.  The focus of learning has shifted from learning as acquisition of skills and knowledge to learning as conversation, participation, and a peer-cooperative and collaborative process, and a knowledge as network formation and re-creation, and learning as knowledge creation (emergent knowledge in particular), growth and development, centered around the learner, and the community of learners or network of learners.

More connectivity, less structure

The more connectivity there are, the less formal structure of learning is required.  The more knowledge developed and grown, the less the dependence would be on the instructors and experts.  In other words, the learning cycle could ensure that the learners are transformed into experts within such a learning-growth-development-maturity cycle, through continuous planning, learning in action, reflection, adjustment of learning, re-action of learning and re-planning of the learning in action.

Motivation and Access First

As pointed out by Gilly Salmon: Access and motivation is essential for novices in any online course.

Without motivation, participants would either lurk or drop out from the course.

So, the more motivated the learners are, the less chance they would withdraw from the course, and the less constraints we should impose on the learners.

If our ultimate goal is to support the learners to achieve their goals, then we all need to help the learners in searching and “defining” their goals if possible, at the early stage of the course.

Mark highlights in his post on education and motivation

We establish our identity and reputation online to the extent that we contribute. We can’t be heard (or seen) unless we speak. We do this by uploading, commenting, and registering our presence through our interactions with others. This has important implications for how we approach education (offline as well as online).

Passion is important

The learners also need to find their passions in their search for “knowledge” and wisdom.  This may be part of the pathways in the MOOC.

Refer to Sir Ken Robinson’s” The element: How finding your passion changes everything”.  I think MOOC is about finding your passion through the engagement and conversation with others, leading you to more readily understand your identity and relationship with others and the society at large.

MOOC as learning and research platform

MOOC provides a platform for both novices, veterans and experts to share, learn and co-operate together, and so they could be connected to those like-mindedness networkers, different dissenters and knowledgeable others on a global basis.  That is where more exposure to the platforms would give rise to less “group think”.

MOOC is a GAME we all could play

Besides, there needs to be certain elements of fun, curiosity to learning and moments of excitement, or the AHA moments, in any introduction in MOOCs.  I have summarised them here in my previous post.  Let’s hedge the golden eggs with more fun, and less anxiety – of failure in MOOCs!

Isn’t it interesting to incorporate the pedagogy of gamification in education in MOOC?