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July 11, 2013

The Semantic Condition: Connectivism and Open Learning
Stephen Downes, July 11, 2013, Instituto Iberoamericano de TIC y Educación – IBERTIC, Online via Adobe Connect to Madrid and Buenos Aires

In this talk I talk about the four major conditions, and four major design parameters, of massive open online courses - diversity, autonomy, openness and interactivity. In particular, I respond to a paper from Jenny Mackness, Roy Williams and Sui Fai John Mak called The Ideas and Reality of Participating in a MOOC. True, the paper is three years old, but I've always felt it deserved a considered response, and it provided an excellent platform for this talk. There is also a Q&A session, which I recorded, with audio available here.

[Link] [Audio] [Video]

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Three brief thoughts on “A University’s Offer of Credit for a MOOC Gets No Takers”
Steven D. Krause, stevendkrause.com , July 11, 2013

Not sure I agree, but his points are:

  • Something similar happened with “traditional” online classes. 
  • MOOCs have a serious audience problem.
  • Actual college students are not interested in cheap courses that might (or might not) transfer; they’re interested in a credential.

[Link] [Comment]

What are the assumptions behind MOOC, in particular peer assessment and grading?
Sui Fai John Mak, Learner Weblog, July 11, 2013

Assessment in MOOCs is a hard question (assessment is a hard question genrally). The criticism of MOOCs is that someone (or something) other than a professor is doing the assessment, and "that’s the fatal flaw of these arrangements." But even though much of the assessment in the traditional classroom is performed by teaching assistants, the argument has merit. Assessment is a general problem, not just a MOOC problem. For the most part, there's no evidence to suggest it's done any better in traditional fora than it is done in MOOCs.

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Blackboard enters the MOOC fray
Denny Carter, eCampus News, July 10, 2013

From the PR mill: "Blackboard, Inc., announced July 10 that the company would provide a free massive open online course (MOOC) platform for existing customers. Blackboard, which made the announcement at the company’s annual conference in Las Vegas, has experimented with hosting MOOCs with a platform called CourseSites. The company said 15 colleges and universities — all existing customers — would host MOOCs using Blackboard technology." Here's the original press releaase.

[Link] [Comment]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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