Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment. Following on from Coursera https://www.coursera.org/ the Open University UK recently announced the launch of Futurelearn http://futurelearn.com/ (Leicester recently signed up) and the most recent addition is a new Australian MOOC platform from the Open University Australia http://theconversation.com/the-aussie-coursera-a-new-homegrown-mooc-platform-arrives-12949
The jury is out on whether or not MOOCs are a good thing. I took part in ‘The great MOOC debate at Ascilite in November. The recordings are available online. Given all the interest in MOOCs I thought it was be useful to collate here some of the articles on MOOCs.
The positives associated with MOOCs are that they are free and hence promote social inclusion to those who can’t afford formal education. UNESCO estimate that there are more than 100 million people who can’t afford formal education. MOOCs also promote connectivist learning, enabling participants to harness the power of social media for learning. The negatives are that many are skeptical about the rational behind MOOCs; arguing that it is more about learning income that learning outcomes and that they are little more than a shop window for institutions – i.e. a marketing tool.
Rita Kopp wrote a nice article on the evaluation of one of the earliest MOOCs on Connectivism She argued that:
Self-directed learning on open online networks is now a possibility as communication and resources can be combined to create learning environments. But is it really? There are some challenges that might prevent learners from having a quality learning experience. This paper raises questions on levels of learner autonomy, presence, and critical literacies required in active connectivist learning.
There is a nice scoopit space on MOOCs. Other articles include:
And there are currently two call outs for special issues on MOOCs: