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This page: http://www.downes.ca/search/mooc

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Linked Data Notifications

(World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)) Linked data Notifications (LDN) is a little standard with big potential. It's very simple: you send a message to a server. I receive a notification. I access the server and retrieve the message. That's it. It sounds a lot like email, but it isn't email. In many ways it's better than email. It can be used to announce publications. It can be used to build a decentralized social network like sloph. From where I'm sitting, it could help a MOOC communicate with a PLE. [Link] (Hits today/total: 31/556)

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Teachers’ Awareness of Guidelines for Quality Assurance when developing MOOCs

(Seminar.Net) This article at least gives a nod to Martin Weller's plea to let MOOCs define their own standards for quality. "Let people play and explore in this space without tying it down with the types of quality overhead we already have in formal education." And then it shrugs as says "whatever". "MOOCs must be shown to meet some of the same quality standards that other online courses are expected to meet," writes the author, without justification. It then proceeds to question "How aware are ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 2/659)

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FutureLearn’s New Pricing Model Limits Access to Course Content After the Course Ends

(Class Central) As this article notes, MOOC provider FutureLearn is putting the squeeze on students, cutting off access to MOOC contents unless they pay. It's what we're seeing in the market as a whole. "As Matt Walton — Chief Product Officer at FutureLearn — notes, charging for certificates hasn’t proven to be an effective business model for MOOC providers. For many learners, certificates are not a priority. So now MOOC providers have started charging for course content." Of course, ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 8/732)

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The open in MOOC must include the ability to create courses

(Pontydysgu) "If we want truly open education," writes Graham Attwell, "then we need to open up opportunities for creating and facilitating learning as well as participating in a programme." I agree. He also adds "Brian Mulligan responded... with a link to the Moocs4All web site. the web site includes this promo video for a free course held last year on ‘Making MOOCs on a budget.'" But as he notes, "it is possible to hack a MOOC platform together with WordPress or to install Open edX. But ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 6/810)

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MéxicoX: Meet the MOOC Platform Funded by the Mexican Government

(Class Central) As Class Central reports, "MéxicoX, which has over one million registered learners (is) a MOOC platform backed by Mexican government... unded by Mexico’s Ministry of Education, and it is managed by the General Directorate of Educational Television (Dirección General de Televisión Educativa from the Ministry of Education) in coordination with the National Digital Strategy." [Link] (Hits today/total: 5/569)

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Arab Universities and MOOCs: Cautious Cooperation

(Al Fanar Media) Dood article providing an overview of the two major Arabic-language MOOC platforms, Edraak and Rawaq. "In the Arab world, as universities struggle to reach thousands of students with few qualified professors, many educators feel that MOOCs still have potential. But the number of available courses is relatively small." [Link] (Hits today/total: 3/612)

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Social Networks and the Building of Learning Communities: An Experimental Study of a Social MOOC

(The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL)) What I like about this paper it its honesty in reporting negative results. "We have not managed to generate a strong learning community either during the course or at its completion: the networks were created around teachers' feedback, learners basically commented once per topic and, after the course ended, people did not return to Facebook or to the forum to participate." We can now ask: why not? The low number of participants? Their preference for traditional instruction? Weaknesses in ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 10/1151)

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Online Learning

(University Business) This is a special report from University Business. It's interesting in its own right, but readers may be interested in the full-length interview with me on MOOC and the future of online learning. A couple of notes: first, there's a really bad typo on page 6, where it says MOOCs were invented in 2005. They were invented in 2008. Second, it mentions work by Tim Berners-Lee without referencing it. What I'm talking about here is the Solid project, which is working toward a ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 2/625)

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Hot or Not: How Do MOOCs Fit into Corporate eLearning?

(Learning Solutions) This article mostly quotes George Siemens and myself about the value of MOOCs in corporate learning, plus a few remarks from MOOC critics. We're both agreed that MOOCs can extend corporate learning, largely because it's open, and largely because it can be used to support niche learning. Note the bit at the end where I talk about MOOCs as part of a larger ecosystem. "They can be defined as cloud technologies and integrated with other types of services. A MOOC or an online course would ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 1/657)

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EdX To Retire Foundational 6.002x Platform

(Class Central) I guess the students who built it have all graduated. We used it for the Personal Learning MOOC. It had some nice features but it definitely did not promote interaction, creativity or discussion. The platform did support limited embedding, which enabled (as described in this article) an interactive circuit diagram tool and a textbook to be embedded. [Link] (Hits today/total: 8/587)

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European MOOC Platform Expands to 5 U.S. Universities

(Campus Technology) I can think of all sorts of policical questions that might be asked in the U.S. following this announcement (especially if the British import succeeds where the US-based alternatives failed). On the other hand, there is the global trade argument: "The partnership with FutureLearn will allow the universities to extend their reach internationally and tap into new communities of potential learners, according to a statement from the company." [Link] (Hits today/total: 12/1103)

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MOOCs and Open Educational Resources: A Handbook for Educators

(Intelligent Television) This is a longish guide (60 page PDF) outlining MOOCs for instructors and (mostly) developers. There are long sections devoted to video and open licensing, which I consider to be the least important aspects of a MOOC. Interesting terminology half way through - "a Massive Really Open Online Course—a MROOC" (which would distinguish it from a merely open online course, I guess). Vie OER Knowledge Cloud. [Link] (Hits today/total: 9/3776)

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Coursera’s New Strategy Takes Inspiration From Netflix—and LinkedIn

(EdSurge) Coursera is continuing its migration from being a MOOC provider offering free online learning to a subscription-based learning provider charging fees for access to learning materials. The model, as this article points out, has already been established by Netflix (for videos) and Microsoft (for its LinkedIn owned Lynda course platform). According to this article the big problem with the model is the size of the courses ("meaningful education cannot be delivered at massive scale") but of course ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 2/1052)

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The coming of age of digital education

(FE News) MOOCs are growing shorter, tighter, and more popular. Against a "backdrop of growing popularity with learners, and growing recognition by employers, MOOC platforms themselves are evolving and a much more sophisticated landscape of short online courses is emerging." This is the result found by a study by The Open University, FutureLearn, and Parthenon EY. No links provided in several news sources to the original study (boo! hiss!). The author - Gavin - appears also to have no last ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 9/1106)

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“Time is the bottleneck”: a qualitative study exploring why learners drop out of MOOCs

(Journal of Computing in Higher Education) The authors of this study interviewed participants of a couple MOOCs and asked them why they dropped out, rolling up the responses. Time was one of the factors cited, though there wasn't really an effort to quantify or order the responses, though 'time' was the most frequently cited reason. They then draw some odd conclusions. "When a course is open for everyone, some learners will have problems with the content being too difficult, or too basic, and some will have problems with ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 2/821)

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Global Survey on the Quality of MOOCs

(Open University of the Netherlands) This is a call to participate in a global research effort: "The survey addresses MOOC learners, MOOC designers and MOOC facilitators. It begins with a few questions on your profile before you are asked to select the survey section that fits best to your main role in MOOCs (i.e., either as MOOC learner, MOOC designer, or MOOC facilitator)." [Link] (Hits today/total: 0/949)

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The State of the MOOC: What Associations Should Know

(Associations Now) This is a routine report on MOOCs with a focus on associations, but note the zinge rat the end: "Education outside of the university system could gain momentum through MOOCs, especially with the growth of certifications. That’s good for associations, which tend to offer a lot in the way of education." We are rapidly approaching the day when universities have competition for certification, which will mean that they (like the New York Times) will have to rely on the quality of their ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 3/831)

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Community Tracking in a cMOOC and Nomadic Learner Behaviour Identification on a Connectivist Rhizomatic Learning Network

(Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education) The difference between the research we see in a connectivist MOOC (cMOOC) and those offered by Coursea, Udacity, etc. (xMOOC) is striking, and nowhere better exemplified by this detailed diagram we see in this paper. The best we get from the xMOOCs are demographics and completion rates. Here we get visible evidence of interactivity and social presence. The authors actually call for similar research to be undertaken for xMOOCs. The authors argue "cognitive presence has a critical function for ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 6/1453)

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MOOC enrollment drops at HarvardX and MITx after free certifications disappear

(TechCrunch) This article gleans the relevant datum from the recent study of Harvard and MIT MOOCs. This year saw enrollments drop at each "to about 540,000 at HarvardX and 670,000 at MIT." This is against a background in MOOCs generally where enrollment (as reported by Class Central) doubled over last year. What makes the different at Harvard and MIT? "The leveling off of interest probably has a lot to do with the schools’ choice early in 2016 to no longer offer certain certifications for free &... [Link] (Hits today/total: 8/1225)

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Connectivism and Learning

(Federica.EU) This is my next MOOC; it starts January 30 and runs for 10 weeks. It provides an overview of my version of connectivism as it applies to teaching and learning. It covers a lot of the ground I've covered in my talks and papers, but as a single structured unit. Unlike my previous MOOCs, I've prepared a ton of video content ahead of time, so you can follow the course at your leisure. I'll probably want to do events and things during the course but I haven't planned these yet. But ... [Link] (Hits today/total: 9/1219)

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