Mooc creators criticise courses’ lack of creativity

Chris Parr, Distance and E-Learning (EURODL), Oct 17, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Times Higher Education supplement published an article on the origin of MOOCs today, relying on interviews with myself, George Siemens, Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander to tell the story. Overall, it's a good article, accurate in its reporting, and generally faithful to my own views (and I presume, the other three).  I have posted the full text of my interview with author Chris Parr. For those wondering, the photos are from my Flicker account; the first is me high atop the ANTEL building in Montevideo, the second if my photo of George Siemens at the D2L conference in Memphis in 2008.

I think it's wortn comparing our approach to the challenges of democratizing education with that offered by Gianpiero Petriglieri in the Harvard Business Reviews blogs. He writes, "the techno-democratization of education looks like a cover story for its aristocratization. MOOCs aren’t digital keys to great classrooms’ doors. At best, they are infomercials for those classrooms. At worst, they are digital postcards from gated communities." His response is simple: stop sendfing postcards. Yeah, that will fix it. I think what we came up with is more nuanced, and in the long term, more effective.

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