Why Design a xMOOC / cMOOC Hybrid? LTCA Theory

Matt Crosslin, ProPublica, May 08, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Matt Crosslin follows up an earlier post with an explanation of why he thinks it would be a good idea to build a cMOOC/xMOOC hybrid. He writes, "the idea of MOOC layers is really looking at a four pronged approach to the idea of teaching and learning as communicative actions using LTCA theory." This theory, he writes, is  being created by Scott Warren at North Texas, based Jurgen Habermas, and breaks learning down in to four majopr activities, some of which are subsumed by xMOOCs and some by cMOOCs. To quote Crosslin at length:

  • "Normative communicative actions are those that communicate knowledge based on past experiences, such as statements in class instructions that lay out expectations for student activities.
  • "Strategic communicative actions are the most familiar educational communicative actions – these occur most often through lectures, textbooks, and other methods where specific reified knowledge is transferred to the learner.
  • "Constative communicative actions are debates, arguments, and discourses that allow learners to make claims and counterclaims. Constative communication is also where social constructivism connects with LTCA theory, as students come to agreement over constructed knowledge through these communicative actions
  • "Dramaturgical communicative actions are those that allow for expression. Learners can reflect or create artifacts that express the knowledge they have gained as well as who that knowledge makes them as a person."

For my part, I don't think that taxonomies make good theory. Yes, if we look at the full range of existing practice, we see these forms. But what would we see if we looked only at (say) effective practice?

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