MOOCs are receiving considerable attention from those of us who study higher education these days. Indeed, it’s almost impossible to browse the Chronicle of Higher Education without seeing an article or a blog post about MOOCs. This flurry of attention in the media is making for some interesting discussions in a “Technology in Higher Education” course I am teaching this term.
Related to this, I showed the following video in the course a couple of weeks ago:
We had an interesting discussion about the distributed nature of MOOCs, and many thought it was interesting that having folks on different pages is a feature in at least some MOOCs (although those offered through for-profit ventures seem to be much more structured and much less distributed). We discussed the value in allowing flexibility and ownership of learning, but we also discussed whether students could end up feeling out of the loop, missing out on the conversation, missing out on the learning. Is distribution an asset to or detractor from community? It was a very good discussion in which folks who hold a variety of different perspectives were able to share ideas and information.