The MORU as Precursor to the MOOC

Darin Hayton, Mar 17, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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So, "MOOCs are all the rage right now," writes Darin Hayton. "Academics [are] generally upset or unimpressed and disruptors generally optimistic. What intrigues me is how familiar the kook-aid tastes." I have always tried to be clear that the phenomenon of mass education was well established before MOOCs, and therefore that what makes MOOCs different, at least the way we do them, isn't the massiveness, but the network structure, which permits both scaling and interactivity. Thus I certainly acknowledge the precedence of an invention like the MORU, first mentioned in Popular Science in 1923, which is in effect the "Radio University." But I don't see MOOCs, at least the way we do them, as the latest brank of kook.

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