What's wrong with (M)OOCs?

George Siemens, elearnspace, Dec 20, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As George Siemens notes, "Soon to be offered MOOCs include: CCK11 (Stephen Downes/George Siemens, Learning Analytics (George Siemens/Jon Dron/Dave Cormier), Digital Storytelling (Jim Groom), Open Education (Rory McGreal/George Siemens), and Personal Learning Environments (Wendy Drexler/Chris Sessums). There are likely others" (and we'll list them on the newly launched mooc.ca.

In the meantime, we (Alec Couros, Jim Groom, George Siemens, Dave Cormier, and I) are had a discussion Monday afternoon on Elluminate to talk about our successes and failures delivering MOOCs over the last couple of years. Here's a link to the Elluminate recording. Lisa M. Lane adds to the discussion with her post, Got MOOC? following the discussion.

George Siemens writes about "what's wrong with (M)OOCs" and while he identifies some of the common criticisms - high drop out rates and declining participation, the need for technical skills, learners expressing their frustration at feeling disconnected and lost - I think that the main problem with them is that they are in fact courses, isolated islets in a sea of disconnected meaning. The people who are disconnected, unskilled and drop out are people who have spent their entire lives being given content on a platter to memorized, and we don't do it that way. I think our approach is the right approach, but that it will take time to establish as something like the norm.
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