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MOOCs: A (mostly) Reasoned Discussion of Education's Latest Phenomenon

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Information about MOOCs: A (mostly) Reasoned Discussion of Education's Latest Phenomenon
Education

Published on February 18, 2014

Author: robemoco

Source: slideshare.net

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Presentation for California State University Channel Islands' series "Technology: Change, Threat, Opportunity." Presented 2/18. Views the MOOC as both a learning model and sociocultural phenomenon, as well as presenting initial findings from the presenter's Delphi study (dissertation research)
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MOOCs: A (mostly) Reasoned Discussion of Education's Latest Phenomenon. Rolin Moe Ed.D Candidate, Learning Technologies Pepperdine University Twitter: @RMoeJo

About the Presenter • Graduating in May 2014 (final defense March 6) • Background in K-12, Higher Ed, Radio-TVFilm, Literary Theory • Views education as a social, communal and contextual enterprise • Technology is an augment or supplement (Derrida)

Life of MOOC • • • • • • • Sal Khan produces tutorial videos for niece; leads to Khan Academy (and TED) Sebastian Thrun (Google, Stanford) sees TED talk, inspired. Offers his “Intro to AI” course free online; other Stanford profs do same 160K enrollees; bedlam Start-ups crated (Coursera, Udacity, edX), courses offered, rhetoric spilled, governments listen, administrators hired & fired. Media dubs it a MOOC. Most enrolled have a Bachelor’s and some graduate coursework 741 (and counting) presentations like this entitled “MOOCs: What do we know?” • • • • • • • George Siemens sees education in digital age as a sphere of networks Develops theory of connectivism, involving human and automated networks Offers test-drive class on theory in manner of the theory (open to anyone). Nearly 2.5K enrollees. Students dub it a MOOC Somewhat similar classes emerge; similar results Most enrolled have a Bachelor’s and some graduate coursework Excitement within EdTech community about potential for model Growth continues despite cooption of term MOOC

7 Things You Should Know About MOOCs (per Educause) • • • • • • • • Learning Model Connected Age Lifelong Learning Game-changer Scalability Learning Analytics Disruptive Delivering Education to Consumers Note: The thoughts of Educause do not necessarily represent the thoughts of this presenter or the presentation.

MOOC as a Disruptive Technology (per Christensen & Horn) Low-cost (& low-quality?) option Servicing new population Adoption by existing population Existing provider too slow (or unable) to adapt • A change in the marketplace and the culture • • • • Note: The thoughts of Christensen & Horn do not necessarily represent the thoughts of this presenter or the presentation.

Why Disruptive Technology Argument (& MOOC = Model) is Troublesome • Education is not a commodity in same manner as a photocopier, a .mp3, or even trade journalism. Many argue it is not a commodity at all. • The MOOC model has been orchestrated by the existing high-end providers. • Education is a social structure (Weber) and a foundational aspect of the public sphere (Habermas); would someone argue a disruptive innovation in religion?

Shifting the MOOC Lens MOOC as Model (Educause) • • • • • • • Connected Age Lifelong Learning Game-changer Scalability Learning Analytics Disruptive Delivering Education to Consumers MOOC as Phenomenon (Veletsianos & Moe, 2014) • Cost of Higher Education • Higher Ed is about Jobs • Quantitative Research • Free Enterprise • Technological Solutionism (Morozov) • Lack of Educational Research Impact • Cognitive Theory

The Evolution & Impact of MOOCs Methodology: Delphi Study Research Questions 1) Where do experts agree on the impact of MOOCs on Higher Education? 2) Where do experts agree on the impact of MOOCs on policy/culture/society? • George Siemens • Anya Kamanetz • Clay Shirky • Audrey Watters • Kevin Werbach • Cathy Sandeen • Peter Norvig • Amy Collier • Todd Edebohls And more

The Prompts Discussion was built around 12 quotations, pulled from existing MOOC literature and paraphrased. Each quotation tackled a different aspect/criticism of the MOOC, viewing it from either a model-based lens or a sociocultural phenomenological lens. Discussion lasted up to three rounds, depending on whether a prompt had reached a consensus majority of agreement or disagreement. #videolecture, #personalization, #data, #autodidact, #publicgood, #democratization, #expertise, #professors, #disruptive, #imperialism, #tierbased, #labor

Quantitative Results Four of 12 prompts reached consensus. 1) Learning analytics will help solve education’s struggles (agree) 2) MOOCs are a tool to democratize education (disagree) 3) There are no experts in online education (disagree) 4) MOOCs provide an avenue for tier-based education services (agree)

Qualitative Results Blah blah blah tenured humanities professor sanctimony. Explain to me how you occupy the moral high ground when your students graduate $30000 in debt and have no marketable skills. MOOCs reflect changes in education. In themselves, they are not "disruptive' (what a terrible word - it needs to be taken out back and shot and never used again by educators). Evident themes included: • The rise (rebirth?) of cognitive learning theory • A discord in the application of educational terms and vocabulary • MOOC = Online Learning (in the mainstream) • Economics are at forefront of MOOC debate

What Does This Mean? • • • • Higher Ed solutions to have economic implications at forefront. Growing discord between MOOC developers, education scholars, and practitioners in regards to theory and pedagogy. Continued debate of the purpose of higher education; increased focus on skills and competencies due to lack of voices advocating for the system. Many “Future of Education” debates driven by non-edu voices, where terms and vocabulary are not negotiable (business, computer science).

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