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by Stephen Downes
Dec 07, 2015

Theories and Applications of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs): The Case for Hybrid Design
Abram Anders, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL), 2015/12/07


This is an article from a special issue of IRRODL featuring a European view of MOOCs. There's a nice table in the middle of it comparing xMOOCs, hybrids and cMOOs across several dimensions, including (notably) "Cognitive-behaviorist, Social-constructivist, and Connectivist." I find it interesting that social-constructivist is cast as the middle ground. Framing matters. "This middle category is typified by a combination of social and instructional support mechanisms. Following social-constructivism, hybrid designs may support learning communities that offer highly social and dialogical learning experiences," writes Anders. "Both xMOOC and cMOOC models are most effective when supplemented with community and task-based instructional strategies in alignment with social-constructivist and andragogical learning theories." I'm not sure I agree.

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Mark Zuckerberg Is Betting Tech Can Address Educational Equity. Is It That Simple?
Anya Kamenetz, NPR Ed, 2015/12/07


In this NPR article Michael Feldstein is asked about the need for more than just technology to support personalized learning. "He argues that successfully pulling off personalized learning in schools requires major changes, like grouping students by ability and making class schedules more flexible. The school day has to be redesigned, in some cases classrooms rebuilt or reconfigured, and teachers need to be retrained and supported to use tech more effectively."

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Edcamp with Students - Finally!
Liz B Davis, The Power of Educational Innovation, 2015/12/07


We know that EduCamps (as I know them) are quite useful for teachers, but what about offering them to students themselves? Sure, why not! But in the school system you have to tie everything to a lesson, so in this case, it's... Benjamin Franklin. "It turns out that Benjamin Franklin formed his own Edcamp style group that met weekly to discuss different topics. He called them Juntos. Using that as a connection, students considered the topics they would like to discuss and our own #EdcampJunto was formed." Now I would not exactly say that Franklin invented educamps. But as I am fond of saying, every idea I have ever had has already been had by some one, somewhere, who probably expressed it better than me. The same, of course, goes for other people's ideas.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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