Communal Constructivism and Dual Layer MOOCs

Matt Crosslin, ProPublica, Jun 10, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

There's a lot of interesting work being done on open online learning these days (I can barely comprehend it all). This is an example: a project designed to combine the best of an xMOOC and a cMOOC. It sounds simple in practice, but the execution is something different - how do you combine groups and networks (collectives and connectives) in a single environment, especially when the one pushes you toward conformity and the other toward diversity? Here's one possibility: "Communal constructivism is not a new term, but one that is often left out of the discussion (except in a few cases). However, the idea is not that foreign since we often see this idea modeled in Reddit." But is that really distributed, the way a cMOOC would be? At a certain point, the movement to collect people into single-site courses collides with the movement toward things like indieweb and reclaim your domain.

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