As MOOC initiatives have proliferated, there seems to be relatively little variety in strategies to recruit and retain students or in the basic design of the educational software interface, and the assumption that bigger is better remains largely untested. Unfortunately, the promise of educational equity offered by many in the open access courseware movement might differ radically from the lived experience
delivered to remote users.
Records from online forums hosted by such courses show students expressing their frustration at being starved of the personal attention needed to develop truly participatory learner-centered communities of practice, and there has also been remarkably little empirical research on the student experience in MOOC education."
The Reclaim Open Learning initiative (http://bit.ly/reclaimopen) has announced an Innovation Contest (with $2,000 incentive) to those interested in transforming postsecondary education and exploring what "openness" could mean: http://open.media.mit.edu/
The open learning innovation contest invites innovators whose work embodies the principles of connected learning to submit their stories and experiences for consideration. They might be running online or offline courses, activities, learning programs, study groups, or hybrid classes or out-of-school (extra-institutional) activities having to do with independent learning and volunteer work. Entries are due August 2, 2013.
The contest focuses on independent learners and those who work with them mostly at the postsecondary level (though this doesn’t rule out those who work with people under 20). We’ll be seeking to highlight projects that:
* Align with connected learning principles.
* Make use of open-access and open-license technologies and business models.
* Involve students as leaders and partners in innovative learning: learner-created courses, majors, and special projects.
* Incorporate digital resources and practices in novel ways.
* Present an example to inspire others.
* Place a special emphasis on people underserved in some way by traditional higher education.
* Are works in progress, adapting to the emergent practices of learners as they go.
Our distinguished panel of judges includes Cathy Davidson (HASTAC), Joi Ito (MIT), Paul Kim (Stanford), Ronaldo Lemos (Creative Commons Brazil), Dan Atkins (University of Michigan), Audrey Watters (Hack Education), Caroline Woolard (Trade School), and more TBA!
Winners will recieve a $2000 honorarium and be invited to present at a summit on Reclaiming Open Learning at UC Irvine on September 26-27, 2013.