Comments on: MOOC meltdown! http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:48:44 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: MOOCs vs. House of Cards smackdown : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1933214 Tue, 25 Feb 2014 15:59:21 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1933214 […] experience suggests that my prediction–that they will be useful for entertainment and marketing, not for actual education–was […]

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By: an academic in europe http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1866552 Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:02:49 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1866552 I teach at an institution in Europe which for many years has operated on the premise of self-directed learning – with the result that students ended up with a very helter-skelter education and many sank out of sight rather than learning how to swim in academic waters. Now, with the introduction of the Bologna reforms (intended to create comparable degree programs across Europe, but which was designed by politicians rather than educators), the complaint is that higher education – now with new requirements that work actually be completed in the semester a course is taught and that there be uniform ways of assessing performance such as papers and exams – is turning all too “school-like.” My impression is that the students actually rather like having the structure: it gives them purchase. Self-direction is a tall order for the disorganized and weakly motivated…

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By: Ellie http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1801015 Mon, 25 Nov 2013 09:11:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1801015 Note that, at least per the NYT, the Penn data also shows MOOC users predominantly male.

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By: Susan http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1795805 Sat, 23 Nov 2013 02:05:18 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1795805 Well, it’s fascinating that Thrum decided that MOOC’s are great except for those pesky students with weak backgrounds and messy lives. I like Tressie MC’s take on it as an ethics question (http://tressiemc.com/2013/11/19/the-audacity-thrun-learns-a-lesson-and-students-pay/).

Blended learning is — as Western Dave notes — in fact effective, and I think the key is that when done well, blended learning is not about the 30,000, or 100,000 students; if a large group watch online lectures, what it’s blended with is exactly what we’re talking about: face to face small group interaction with an instructor. (And yes, they can to some extent deskill the instructors, but not by much.)

I have never been opposed to online learning, or blended learning; I taught for 18 years in a non-residential context, and understand the need for a variety of learning modalities. But every effective teaching method I know about involves interaction of an instructor and students in small groups.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1795352 Fri, 22 Nov 2013 20:46:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1795352 Yes: that’s why the data from Penn is so interesting. I’m unsurprised that MOOCs, distance learning, library cards, and other forms of self-education work for people who already have college degrees. What doesn’t work is expecting people who have (in some cases barely) graduated from high school to self-educate like people who already have B.A.s or Master’s degrees (or Ph.D.s for that matter.)

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By: quixote http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1795333 Fri, 22 Nov 2013 20:36:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1795333 [works IF you are already expert] if what I meant, of course.

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By: quixote http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1795326 Fri, 22 Nov 2013 20:34:13 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1795326 koshembos, you keep coming up with the same points and the rest of us keep pointing out the problem with them. One more time, just in case it penetrates this once:

Self-directed learning — by mail, by library, by internet, by carrier pigeon — works IF you already expert and need to add to your knowledge.

Basic learning DOES NOT WORK at a distance. That’s been shown almost as thoroughly as the effectiveness of vaccines. The Australians who run the rural schools by radio and now web have the kids in to boarding schools for a couple of weeks at the beginning and end of semesters. Facetime is essential. The British Open University has years and years of experience. Go read up on it. Honestly. You’re advanced enough to teach yourself on this, right?

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By: quixote http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1795317 Fri, 22 Nov 2013 20:24:11 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1795317 There is a one fundamental problem with opposing MOOCs because they don’t provide education. What they do provide is money. They’re cheap. Cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap. And then there’s us pointyheaded eggs yammering on about “education.” Totally off-topic. No wonder we sound like crickets to them.

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By: koshembos http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1795293 Fri, 22 Nov 2013 20:11:59 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1795293 Time to cause upheaval, who says that MOOC doesn’t work? Academics are great examples for the success of MOOC. We study for decades by ourselves from dis-joined and ill-defined sources. Never heard anyone of you ask for a teacher and a classroom.

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By: Western Dave http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/22/mooc-meltdown/comment-page-1/#comment-1795264 Fri, 22 Nov 2013 19:51:00 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22058#comment-1795264 Don’t celebrate too early people. The specter of blending learning is still out there and it’s far more insidious because the early results on blending learning are pretty good (my own school’s early experiments on blended learning have been really successful) but… the potential for abuse is horrific. If you think MOOCs were bad faith actors, just wait until the combo of common core-blended learning hits.

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