Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been making waves ever since Sebastrian Thrun and Peter Norvig's course on AI enrolled 165,000 students in 2011. Key questions include:
- How does the massive scale of these classes impact the pedagogy?
- What is the place of a MOOC in a traditional higher education curriculum?
- What kinds of learning can MOOCs supplement or replace?
- What is the difference between MOOCs and peer-to-peer online, connected learning?
- Are MOOCs innovative? How can we leverage the MOOC form to innovate rather than perpetuate pedagogical practices?
- How do we address the problems raised by MOOCs, such as unprecedented incompletion rates? (And -- perhaps most importantly -- are these problems really problems?)
- What labor issues for the professoriate need to be addressed as we consider the business model of MOOCs?
As the discussion around MOOCs evolves alongside the MOOCs themselves, the HASTAC community remains deeply engaged. This collection is designed to highlight posts on www.hastac.org about MOOCs, online learning, and digital pedagogy.
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EdX announced this week that it has partnered with Google to produce Mooc.org, a website that provides online teaching resources. The website is supposed to launch in early 2014. So far, financial details haven't been released, but leaders say they want it to be self-sustaining.
Cathy Davidson, one of HASTAC's cofounders and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English at Duke University, is featured today in the New York Times. She's written a 2-part series on MOOCs that explores their potential and their negatives. Questions proposed by readers and addressed by Cathy include the high dropout rates of MOOCs, their potential to mitigate income inequality, and how they fit with traditional instruction.
There's been a lot of talk about MOOCs revolutionizing higher ed. Steve Kolowich argues in The Chronicle that this revolution may be damped by market and legislative forces, turning MOOCs into more of a subservient role to existing credit-granting institutions.
"Two recent interventions in the ongoing conversation about massive open online courses (MOOCs) strike me as provocative, in very different ways – and also as curiously neglected, given the interest of what the authors have to say. Perhaps it is a sign of fatigue with the subject? Maybe, but the two articles in question, published a little over a month ago, take up the MOOC question in ways that haven’t previously come to the fore.