George Siemens is a Professor at the Center for Distance Education and a researcher and strategist with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada. He is the author of the Connectivism theory of learning and co-creator of the first MOOC in 2008."
MOOCs: How did we get here?
A different view than Andrew Ng's corporate model.
A bit of history
George began blogging and following Todd, Downes, etc. He was able to talk with innovative people outside of the institution. Most systems think that content is the start of the learning and his idea was that content was the by-product. We don't need content, we need good questions and community. Open learning was learning not owned by a system but created by people.
He described Wiley's Wiki Design - everything in a course is run in the open. He talked about the history of open learning through Connectivism and Connective Knowledge through Jim Groom's DS 106.
An alternative to institutional controlled tech, monolothic self/contained/ locked-in platforms, transmission pedagogies.
Knowledge is iterative and communal. So many people are involved in th production of knowledge that is hard to call it "owned."
He brought up the MOOC map and showed how MOOCs have "vomited" over the world. It is no longer an academic practice but a corporate enterprise.
MOOCs are not really new - distributed learning has a long history. People have been thinking about this for a long time. It is a mistake to disregard that history
Why MOOCs now?
It is a supply-side answer to decasdes fo change in demand-side learning.
Student profiles are changing - older students, more females, China and India are changing the profiles.
What is happening in MOOC research?
There are a lot hyped statements like "there will only be 10 universities in the future." Universities will increase in number because the students will be doubling in the next ten years. With the Gates Foundation grants - where were the researchers coming from? Most of the research is coming from th Education field and not just Computer Science.
Problems with MOOCs
MOOCs do not prepare a student to create, generate, solve and innovate. We need stuff that stirs the soul. They need to respond to society.
Openness is being lost in the conversation. The hype is driving the trends. Coursera does not care about openness.
What happened with MIT wanting to provide all course materials are open and now they are with EdX who wants to copyright everything.
Lack of innovation.
Dropout rates are totally irrelevant. We are missing out on an opportunity for real research.
MOOC providers are disconnected from the research in education.
They need to look at social and generative education models - they exclude them because their technology does not do that well.
We are norming from Coursera and edX and they are concerned with revenue models.
We need to refocus on creativity and knowledge generation. MOOCs are just part of the landscape of the current state of education.
A MOOC is a web, not a website. It is a network.
A Domain of One's Own - reclaim the web. gather t artifacts of your digital identy in a central place that you won and control.
Don't just hate MOOCs, but look for another