Comparing Moocs is a bit like comparing trees, every tree is unique even though there are definitely families and shared or distinctive traits. The general comparison made most often concerning MOOCS is certainly the one between cMOOCs and xMOOCs.
This distinction is important to understand the construction and impact of seemingly similar formats, the motivation to built such courses and the impact sought and obtained.
The connectivist brand of MOOCs promoted by G.Siemens and S.Downes, amongst others, is built upon a pedagogical and communicational premise : the one that connection is key and commutation the building block of learning. In this regard this type of course is close to the logic of social networks where the number of connections is most important, moreso than the quality of connections is initially.
They often rely on openly available technology and prefer simple and robust systems to esthetically pleasing but proprietary formats.
The xMOOC variety as the courses by courser and audacity, EdX and the likes are often called reproduce the classic course format of lecturing and exams and gain from the popularity of their experts and the affiliated universities rather than from the opportunity to learn from other participants. The generally use specifically developed platforms and operate in the manner of startups, as middlemen between experts , institutions and the general public.
Both embrace the fact that their offerings can be accessed by anyone connected to the internet and able to surf (AND speaking english). This last point is not without importance since even with English as a world language the barrier towards second language education remains.
The difference between the D106 and Change-mooc and the offerings of the Mooc-sellers’ (as I want to call them) build on this general difference but also happen on a slightly different level.
One of the drawings on the DS106 website clearly expresses the difference in the approach : “We need to think differently about our culture. This is not simply augmenting our experience with technology. Claim your space, review, remix, make meaning, make art, dammit !”. The Change mood relies heavily on collaborative reflection on online interaction. Both of these MOOCs thus stress the active role of the participants, not only asking for a production to validate a learning experience but by putting the act of creating and interacting on others’ productions in the center of the learning experience, this is especially true for the DS106 MOOC.
The technology necessary to participate in both types is web navigation technology. Even though the technology is much more varied in the open (c-) formats since the ball is in the participants field, who can mobilize the technology at hand to participate and thus produce complex mashups or original creations.
Wheres as the xMOOCS certainly reflect a more traditional approach to teaching (sic!) the more open types of MOOCS explore new forms of learning (sic!) and as such represent the real pedagogical difference.
The difficulty certainly arises when it comes to accreditation (if that’s the goal !) since whereas xMOOCS often rely on traditional forms of evaluation (multiple choice, essay), the creative and open MOOCS have to be more open and flexible in their evaluation as well. But then again, new ways and means are to be developed to take into account these forms much as lifelong learning in general obliges us to rethink evaluation. The badges option, as also used in the open H817 is an interesting alternative in that sense…. to be continued ….
LEARNING STYLE ACTIVITY/APPROACH
Look at things from different perspectives
Watch rather than do
Work in groups
· Start session with brief discussion in pairs / small groups to find out what they know and their ideas on the subject
· Find out who uses which types of Social Media and what they use them for
· Demonstrate my own Personal Learning Network
· Small section devoted to how to use a particular technology – e.g. Twitter, Diigo etc (followed up after initial one hour session)
· Explain rationale behind building your own PLN and how it can help expand access to research and expertise
· Provide links to further reading/theory in module and on website
· Diagram of my PLN
Work with practical applications
· Set up a tool during the session, or, if short of time, set aside time after session for questions/hands-on working with tools
· Allow participants to try setting up instance of tools themselves and provide support where necessary
Work in teams
· Discussion Forum and Groups set up in Blackboard module to support session
· Allow time after session for hands-on practice setting up/using tools (they might need less help)
· Ask participants which tools they aim to use and to report back in next session
I was a bit concerned that by adding my end of MOOC video to an old blog post may have caused confusion, so here it is again for good measure. A lot has passed since I had to leave prematurely, 3000 words on H817 and a busy week of group projects. (Both of these encourage me more even more on my journey towards MOOC enthusiasm.)
The Final Week7 Activity gave us the option to create a video ”Your experience of studying an open course versus traditional, formal education”. Here’s mine:
This is based on a prior post Outed as a fan of MOOCs
Connectivism – George Siemens
In the world of Higher Education and among well-motivated and intelligent students there is probably a case for seeing Connectivism as one theory of learning but not the only one and Siemens conclusion that “The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe” seems almost absurd . . . I doubt whether many oil companies would concur that the oil pipe is more important than the oil that it contains . . . the oil pipe will not per se bring in revenue. The water pipe network in my house will not keep me warm in winter . . . it is, of course, one of the essential elements in my heating system but there are others equally essential, viz. boiler, pump, water, electricity and gas. Take out any of these and I will feel very cold.
“When knowledge, however, is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the requirements becomes a vital skill”. This statement is undoubtedly true, but this “ability” is often a skill learned much earlier in life . . . mostly, the necessary skill has been taught by a skilled tutor, e.g. learning to swim, to play a musical instrument well, etc.
Connectivism cannot be regarded as an all-embracing, universal learning theory; it is more a reminder that we have many more learning tools available to us, living in the Digital Age, and a reminder, too, that technology is changing fast.
Our five-year old children are not likely to pick up an IPad and form a social network so that they can learn to read and write – they are taught to read and write.
Furthermore, Connectivism is mostly, mediated through language and culture, and, in a universal world that is so disparate in many ways, both of these factors can impede successful learning.
Moreover, for a learning process to be successful, students need to be told (or learn) how to discriminate between worthwhile knowledge and that which is worthless or misleading – peer-group networks are not sufficient
- What aspect of openness in education interests you most (and why)?
I wanted to create the video by remixing common licence ressources with my own stuff (photos, screen casts from my former h817open blog posts etc). By purpose I made it a little messy to illustrate the diversity, that powers the networks and learning processes.
Please have a look below :)
- FLV Spider Pro
Remixed / revised photos:
- bluebell, by Dominic's pics on Flickr
- Network, by Dan Zen
- Road, by Moyan Brenn
- Class, by Trondheim Byarkiv
- Dave Cormier, by cogdogblog
- Stephen Downes, by Stephen Downes
- OER, by Martin Weller
- Smiley, by Glitter Graphics
- Soleil levant, Waxstar on www.jamendo.com
I thought it was going to be like a house party and it was!
Source You Tube: H817 Open Learn (Patricia Daniels 2013)
Music courtesy of Tim Terry: Party
Tools used in the creation process:
- Realtime Board
- Quicktime Player
Party- courtesy of Tim Terry
iLife sound effects
iMovie sound effects