by Stephen Downes
Jun 29, 2015
Bringing the Social Back to MOOCs
We have known this from the beginning: "For MOOCs to function as the bridge between open content and collaborative learning, they need to include opportunities for social interaction and collaboration, which have consistently proven to be beneficial to learners. Failure to do so would relegate MOOCs to little more than content repositories, which, while still valuable, would be used primarily by the highly educated, mature, and motivated independent learners they currently serve." Eventually this will be 'invented' at MIT or Stanford. Probably with the assistance of Gates funding.
Reshaping the Educational Environment for Tomorrow’s Workforce
Richard M. Rhodes,
I think that this plan will actually make students less prepared for the workforce: "This public-private partnership is a key aspect of what makes ACC Highland a new model for higher education. By bringing the college's industry partners onsite, ACC Highland can immerse students in their field of choice from the start, enabling real-world experiences to enhance what happens in the classroom." The more you insert particular companies into the management and control of learning, the less you prepare students for work with their competitors, and particularly with disruptive business models and technologies that might upset their current business model. To be prepared for the world of work, it is essential to be able to think more broadly than your current employer.
P.S. in an earlier paragraph there's an interesting reference to adaptive learning software, called ALEKS, to customize coursework for each student. ALEKS is owned by McGraw-Hill and according to the website is "Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn."
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