Theories and Applications of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs): The Case for Hybrid Design

Abram Anders, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL), Dec 06, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an article from a special issue of IRRODL featuring a European view of MOOCs. There's a nice table in the middle of it comparing xMOOCs, hybrids and cMOOs across several dimensions, including (notably) "Cognitive-behaviorist, Social-constructivist, and Connectivist." I find it interesting that social-constructivist is cast as the middle ground. Framing matters. "This middle category is typified by a combination of social and instructional support mechanisms. Following social-constructivism, hybrid designs may support learning communities that offer highly social and dialogical learning experiences," writes Anders. "Both xMOOC and cMOOC models are most effective when supplemented with community and task-based instructional strategies in alignment with social-constructivist and andragogical learning theories." I'm not sure I agree.

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