Regardless of what you think of “massive open online courses” (MOOCs), they are currently getting a great deal of attention in the media.
Perhaps most prominently, syndicated columnist Thomas Friedman wrote not one, but two recent columns that sing the praises of MOOCs. This morning the New York Times reports that a legislation is in the works in California to “force colleges to honor online classes” for credit, including those offered by private vendors. If passed, this legislation seems likely to create a gold rush (sorry) to California by commercial educational technology companies.
There have been a number of persuasive critiques of the rush to MOOCs (see, for instance, Mark S. Byrnes’ “MOOCs and Books” and “MOOCs and Books, continued.”), but today we’re interested in hearing from ProfHacker readers who have actually been in one of these online courses.
From the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University comes this announcement of an event this afternoon from 1:30-3:00pm Eastern time, featuring ProfHacker’s own Adeline Koh:
Please join us for an event on MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and play in education with Pete Rorabaugh (English, Georgia State University; @allistelling) and Jesse Stommel (English & Digital Humanities, Marylhurst University; @jessifer), editors of the journal Hybrid Pedagogy. Adeline Koh (Literature, Richard Stockton College & 2012-13 Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow) will moderate.
We’ll be livestreaming the event on the FHI Youtube channel, and everyone is encouraged to watch and take part via the Twitterstream: hashtag #dukehp.
In Fall 2011, Stanford announced three, free massively open online courses, or MOOCs. Two of these courses, database and machine learning, corresponded to spring 2012 courses that I would be teaching at Vanderbilt University. I recognized that I could use the lecture materials from these classes to “flip” my own classes by having students view lectures before the class meeting, which then could be used for other learning activities. Shortly after this, I had two affective impulses – an inspiration to create and post my own content online, and a hesitation at using lecture material from other faculty, and from other institutions, even when that material was very high quality. This latter hesitation stemmed from concern about what students…
There can be no doubt that this has been the summer of MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses have seized the attention of faculty, journalists, and, more infamously, administrators.
Naturally, the sclerotic, tweedy, Ivory Tower will take no notice of MOOCs until all courses that can move online will have done so, right?
Wrong! Next week, starting on Monday, Hybrid Pedagogy is launching a MOOC MOOC, that is, a massively open online course that aims to study the pedagogical and institutional implication of the emergence of these classes.
Along with hundreds of others so far, I’ve signed up for the course. Why not join in the fun? The MOOC MOOC will run for six days, packed with daily videos, prompts for reflection and writing, and provocations that should advance conversations about these new courses.
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