The acronym “MOOC” has been in vogue recently, with lots of discussion about organisations like udacity, coursera and edX. The acronym stands for “Massive Open Online Course.̶…
Over at reflections and contemplations (http://reflectionsandcontemplations.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/what-is-a-mooc-what-are-the-different-types-of-mooc-xmoocs-and-cmoocs/) a slightly differnt, though overlapping taxonomy.
xMoocs, like those from Udacity, Coursera and edX. Video based – short targetted vdieos, rather than full lecture length ones, with feedback provided via automated testing.
I figure autmoated testing is going to be excellent fpor some things – specifically where you have m,easureable learning outcomes – but the feedback could, at times, be an issue. The level of design, forethought, expertise and pedagogy has to be high to give good, targetted feedback that as responsive and reflective as that got from instructors (there’s nothing to say that, in some areas, even if electively, this couldn’t be availble in cMOOCs)..
xMOOCS are linear, student’s follow a particular defined trajectory, and the course is instructor based 9though from what I see, instructor based may mean following the path laid out by the instructor, but with no access to the instructor otherwise).
Learning gpoals and objectives are clear, defined, and generally testable. Students may co-operate, collaborate, or go solo (though. again, this does not have to be so. Courses can prescribe collaborative work. Students may not follow it, but it can be a part of the design).
Interestingly, Coursera recently brough in peer review in their stuident body, with numerical and formative feedback – a tool which if it can be used properly, can be extremely powerful.
cMOOCs are the constructivist/connectivist model. Not instructor based, but network based. Students connect with one another, and engage in a process of social meaning creation. Leanring goals and objectives are not precriptively defined, and students navigate their own way through the coursework. Exploration and communication are key, and testing and assessment are difficult.
Thanks reflections, for the thoughtful post.