I thought the idea was to engage the unengaged in education? To provide opportunities for those that need it most? I thought it was about bringing people together and create new and exciting opportunities for exchange, learning, development, collaboration and experimentation?
What happened to altruism? What happened to academic freedom? Are businesses taking over academia? Are we sold anachronistic ideas in new packages and are for some strange reason mesmerised by these?
I thought we agreed that transmission of information is kaputt. Doesn’t work! Dead! I thought we said it is not about content! We are drowning in stuff!
What is blinding us and why? What are we afraid of?
Is there too much noise about MOOCs? Are all MOOCs MOOCs? And why MOOCs? Is the MOOC acronym loosing its original meaning? Has it lost it already? I am wondering and am looking a bit closer at the individual concepts and letters this acronym stands for… and share some thoughts and questions here to enable perhaps a wider dialoge and debate.
Massive – yes, some of them have been as far as registrations is concerned. But even not so massive ones were quickly labeled as such. MOOCs became trendy! The ‘M’ I guess is quite handy… could also mean, mini, micro, medium etc. But do we need the ‘M’ in MOOCs? From MOOC to OOC
Open – yes, some of them have been truly open, probably the first ones, the now called cMOOCs. These days we find MOOCs that are called open but are really half-open, or not that open at all. Open as in free to join? Open as in free to pay? And what about free to use, re-use and re-purpose? We seem to be moving away from open as in open educational practice. Small print and restrictions, provide providers, big money dreams? What do we really mean by the ‘O’ in MOOCs? Do we need this ‘O’? From OOC to OC
Online – yes, the offer is online but is learning happening only online? We still go to libraries, we still meet people, we still learn in the workplace and in practice. We learn in the physical world. Learning is a mix of individual and collective experiences in different places, spaces and times. So are we talking about blended? Do online courses present blended learning opportunities? And if this is the case, what about the second ‘O’ in MOOCs? Could this be scrapped also? From OC to C
Course – there seems to be a debate about this as well, in the context of MOOCs. Some claim that completion rates are irrelevant in the context of MOOCs because individuals pick certain aspects of a MOOC and their engagement is more targeted or focused at specific events and/or resources. I thought we were talking about courses? A course has certain characteristics. We start a course, we engage or not, in a course and we complete a course, or not. This is at least my understanding. … if we no longer talking about courses in the context of MOOCs and feel that completion rates are indeed irrelevant, why do we keep calling them courses? And if these creations are something else, do we need the ‘C’ in MOOCs? Does this need to be replaced too? From C to ?
So what is left? Not much from the orginal MOOC. Are we leading or experience already the signs of massive commercialisation of education? Massive business dreams?
What happened to open educational practices? What happened to bringing people together, learn together? Collaborate? Discover together? What happened to the idea of free education for all? I hope you will help me discuss this further and gain a deeper understanding of what we all experience.