This week as part of our distance learning class we studied MOOCs. MOOCs are a new and growing educational offering that provides a course free of charge to students. Students do not receive credit for participating in the course, but can apply and pay for credit. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. The course is “Massive” because it can host a very large number of students. The course is “Open” because both teaching materials and student generated work are posted online for all participants to read and comment on. It is “Online” available 24/7 to students and offers students an online space to discuss and collaborate. It is a “Course” with learning objectives, materials, and tasks. The popularity of MOOCs is rising as they provide an alternative to today’s high-cost education. MOOCs offers learners flexibility and access to knowledge. Besides being free, another benefit to participating in a MOOC is the ability to tailor your learning. You select what you want to read, and explore what you are interested in. MOOCs are beneficial for professional and personal development. Additionally, MOOCs are a vehicle for networking as they provide access and a network to others sharing similar interests. They can provide for a rich and diverse connection with people of different cultures that offer diverse perspectives on subjects. MOOCs are primarily found in higher education, however there has been some use of MOOCs at the high school level. As this form of distance learning is still relatively new, more data and research needs to be conducted to clearly measure the benefits and effects MOOCs have on learning. Here is a video that will further explain MOOCs.
There are two types of MOOCs. xMOOC and cMOOC. xMOOC are typically MOOCs offered by universities and other for profit organizations. xMOOCs are centered on lectures and learning material provided by assigned professors. Instruction and learning is closer to a traditional form of education. On the other hand, cMOOCs emphasize connectivity and sharing of ideas. Students in cMOOCs are encourage to become learners and experts as they collaborate with others and share ideas and their work.
This week I joined the Deeper Learning MOOC. Presently there are over 1,500 students in the course from all over the world. The DLMOOC is a “C” type MOOC. It encourages connecting with others to learn. The MOOC will provide materials and a network to connect with others interested in helping students obtain deeper learning. By participating in the DLMOOC, I hope to gain a deeper learning of methods I can employ with my students to help them achieve deeper learning, and to establish It will require my participation. I have joined 2 communities (DLMOOC Elementary Education and ITDML DLMOOC) of interest that started within the MOOC. It is through these communities that I will be able to reflect on coursework and learn what others are thinking through their comments.
Here is an example of the type of connected learning I experienced this week in the DLMOOC. A member of the DLMOOC Elementary Education community posted a video by Eduardo Briceno. Briceno presents his argument for encouraging students to posses a growth mindset. I appreciate the post. Briceno's suggests teachers encourage a growth mindset in our urban students to help them overcome the fixed mindset brought on by negative stereotypes that many urban youth experience.
- MOOCs provide students and professionals another venue for learning. Dave Cormier offers 5 steps (Orient, Declare, Network, Cluster, Focus) for success in a MOOC.
- Let the MOOCing continue!