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When Is a MOOC Not a MOOC?

When Is a MOOC Not a MOOC?

Next semester I'm teaching the boldest, most innovative, most complicated course I've ever taught, ISIS 640, "The History and Future of Higher Education":  What started as a MOOC on that topic has become an open-learning collaborative peer-grading extravaganza.  Why?  Because words like "flipping" make it seem as if it is easy to teach with technology.  it is not.  It is important, it can be creative and useful, but it is extremely labor intensive and, as lackadaisacal a job as we've sometimes done training graduate students to teach for the traditional classroom, we've just barely touched the surface of the deep thinking, practice, methods, and ideas of teaching with, through, by, for, and about technology in a critical, creative, interactive, empowering, and significant way.  


So that's why I'm doing a meta-MOOC and turning "flipping" into "cartwheels."   And  I'd love your feedback on the syllabus as it is evolving.  I've posted it as a public Google Doc that accepts comments here:

And I'm very honored and delighted to say I'm being joined in this experiment by some of the smartest, most innovative thinkers anywhere. This graduate class is part of a co-located and coordinated group of classes (some using Google Hang Outs) that include:  Anne Balsamo, Christopher Newfield, David Palumbo-Liu, Howard Rheingold, and Doris Sommer.   


All this is part of the big HASTAC #FutureEd Shaping the Future of Higher Education Initiative:    Anyone can be listed as part of that initiative simply by clicking on and filling in the form in the orange contact box on the left hand of the screen "Suggest An Addition."


Talk about an experiment!   Inside the innovative peer-to-peer graduate course is a Duke MOOC on the Coursera platform, with videos by me and interviews with plenty of others, about "The History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education."   Registration for that course will open next week, and the class itself will start on January 27, running for six weeks.   Students in the graduate class will view the weekly MOOC videos as "reading assignments"  and will participate in the Forums, Wikis,  and other interactive assignments we're setting up to push the boundaries of what a MOOC can do.  They are all creating their own professional, curated blogs on which they will host public responses to the MOOCs, the readings and the various co-located events. 


We'll use a combination of contract grading and peer-to-peer grading.  One major textbook will be the one collaboratively written and published by my graduate students in my Spring 2013 class:  Field Notes to 21st Century Literacies.     15 adventurous souls are in for the classroom experience of their life---and will end with a network of other adventurous graduate student colleagues at universities across the country. 



It's pretty exciting.  And I'd love your feedback as we continue to shape this course, so here's that url again:   Comments  welcome!   It's all part of the HASTAC mission of Learning the Future Together.


(NB:  Photo below:  students working together in PhD Lab on creating their public professional websites together, a Lab requirement, to curate your professional public online image---since all the studies show employers, even at traditional associations like MLA, now go to Google  to find out about you even before they look at resumes and offprints).


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