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Return of the MOOCs, Mene Ukueberuwa, City Journal, Feb 02, 2018

This article offers a bit of a history of MOOCs but is mostly (starting about a third of the way in ) an article about the Modern States "freshman year for free" project (no explanation why they couldn't use the long-established gender-neutral term 'frosh', as in 'frosh year for free', or even 'first year for free'). It's marketing. “'We want to be an on-ramp into the traditional system,' he (founder Steven Klinsky) tells me (author Mene ... [Direct Link]

Don’t Let Bad Journalism Get in the Way of a Good Online Education, Henry Kronk, eLearningInside News, Feb 01, 2018

I am often critical of traditional media in these pages (a tough sell in the age of fake news on social media) but my scepticism of what I read and view in supposedly trustworthy sources is well founded. This article makes a case. It cites as an example a Vox article from a few days ago that states that " virtual students statistically perform much worse than traditional students" based on a single study from 2015 looking at statistics from only 17 states. Now I'm no fan of ... [Direct Link]

EdX Quietly Developing ‘MicroBachelors’ Program, Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge, Jan 31, 2018

According to this article, EdX "is quietly developing a 'MicroBachelors' degree that is designed to break the undergraduate credential into Lego-like components." The work is funded by a $700,000 Lumina Foundation grant. “Education in five to ten years will become modular, will become omnichannel, and will become lifelong,” said EdX CEO Anant Agarwal. This targets higher education institutions at their weakest point: certification. The ... [Direct Link]

MOOC Trends in 2017: Content Paywalls, Dhawal Shah, Class Central, Jan 19, 2018

Class Central has been running a series of articles on MOOCs in review in 2017. It reads to me like a description of "how MOOCs stopped being MOOCs in 2017". The articles cover content paywalls, MOOC monetization, and corporate learning. But the series also attests to the continued strength of MOOCs in general. "To date, over 800 universities around the world have launched at least one MOOC. The total number of MOOCs that have been announced stands at 9,400, up from 6,850 ... [Direct Link]

MOOCS as Accelerators of Social Mobility? A Systematic Review, Karmijn van de Oudeweetering, Orhan Agirdag1, Educational Technology & Society, Jan 08, 2018

This study shows that "The literature substantiated that there are fewer barriers to MOOCs than to higher education. Still, the remaining barriers seem to specifically hamper access for underprivileged populations." Which is no surprise, really, and goes to show that open access solves only part of the problem of inequity. But do look at the numbers. For example, we see measurements of as much of 20% of the participants being unemployed, or (in other studies) as many as 12 percent ... [Direct Link]

The Downes Prize 2017, Stephen Downes, Dec 29, 2017

Every year at this time I award the Downes Prize to the most-read post of those I've posted some time in the previous 365 days. This year that means any one of 1246 total posts from hundreds of authors around the world. The award is intended to be an objective measure, not based on popularity contests, campaigns, or any other such thing, but reflective of actual interest in the item on the part of OLDaily readers.. Without further ado,   This year's Downes Prize is awarded to:...

From Good Intentions to Real Shortcomings: An Edtech Reckoning, Mimi Ito, EdSurge, Dec 28, 2017

"In 2017," writes Mimi Ito, "reality took a massive swipe at the wobbly optimism of technology progressives." How so? Well, despite things like MOOCs and YouTube we still see digital inequality and gender discrimination. Schools continue to be unequal, open access doesn't seem to promote equity, etc. But instead of the four lessons Ito draws (unite around shared purpose, focus on minorities) I think we need to look at the wider picture. Open and progressive education ... [Direct Link]

Moocs can still bring higher education to those who really need it, Diana Laurillard, Eileen Kennedy, Times Higher Education, Dec 16, 2017

For something that's supposed to be dead, MOOCs are still very much alive. And according to this articlee, they have more potential for the future. "Moocs are still multiplying and branching out into new forms of accredited learning experiences," write the authors. Millions of people "are capable of studying online but live too far from affordable campus education. For them, online learning might be their only chance to study. Given that the digital world now enables remote ... [Direct Link]

Open Education and OER - A guide and call to action for policy makers, Maren Deepwell, Martin Weller, Lorna Campbell, Joe Wilson, Association for Learning Technology, Dec 12, 2017

This short paper (8 page PDF) is a "call to action for policy makers to mandate that publicly funded educational resources are released under open licence to ensure that they reside in the public." Interestingly the document cautions that "the 'open' in MOOCs is very different from the 'open' in OER," though this is the opposite of our intent back in 2008 when we first created them. The writers also assert (correctly) that "It is anomalous that while ... [Direct Link]

Is Alison The Answer To The World's Education Needs?, Peter High, Forbes, Dec 12, 2017

Forbes is reporting Alison's oft-debunked claim to have created the world's first MOOCs. It's hard to read this article as anything other than an advertorial (again, I caution people against trusting the traditional media where commercial interests are concerned). I have written to Allison in the past about this but there appears to be no legislation or constraint requiring that they represent themselves honestly. As for the question in the headline, the answer is "no" - ... [Direct Link]

Special Report on the Role of Open Educational Resources in Supporting the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education Challenges and Opportunities, Rory McGreal, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Nov 30, 2017

Rory McGreal hghlights the role of OERs and MOOCs in supporting the sustainable development goal and outlines Canada's contribution to the field. "Canadian OER supporters must continue to increase awareness of OER among learners, teachers, administrators, and most importantly, among provincial education officials who are in a position to support open policies," he writes. [Direct Link]

TokyoTechXʼs MOOC Development Toolkit, Nopphon Keerativoranan, Online Education Development Office, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nov 25, 2017

This is a set of three tools in Python and Excel to support content development in EdX MOOCs. One is a content modification tool, which basically automates cobtent import and export to make it easier to work with entire courses. The second uses a similar functionality to create a course content and outline tool. And the third automates bath uploading of YouTube files, including descriptions and metadata. You can find the tools in their GitHb repository. [Direct Link]

Dr. Chuck on Inclusive Programming, Online Instructor Involvement and Coursera’s Paywall, Tina Nazerian, EdSurge, Oct 28, 2017

By "inclusive programming" the article means "teaching programming to everybody". By "online instructor involvement" it means face-to-face meetings with students in courses (made more difficult in MOOCs). By "Coursera's paywall" it means Charles Severance's strategy to redirect students to his home page if they complain about the paywall. It ends with what is actually a neat idea: "to connect with students is through “Teach Out” ... [Direct Link]

Rethinking MOOCs, The Chronicle, The Editorial Board, Oct 25, 2017

This appears in Duke University's independent student newspaper and supports what I wrote in my article today: "The most valuable products that elite institutions like Duke sell for over $70,000 a year are not high-quality courses but rather the prestige of the Duke brand as well as access to networks of other talented students, professors and elite employers." Exactly. But here is where we disagree: "It is impossible to democratize access to these goods because their value ... [Direct Link]

: Reviving the MOOC, Oct 25, 2017
[article] This article was created as a response to Dhawal Shah in EdSurge on A Proposal to Put the 'M' Back in MOOC. I actually typed the article into the comment form on the article, but it only allows posts from people who are logged into Facebook, which I refuse to do. It talks about the model we had in mind when we created the first MOOC, how it was broken by the xMOOC, how the xMOOC misunderstands the value proposition of a university, and how I would design business model of the ...
Enclosure: MOOC_semester-1508860201.jpg

Udacity Official Declares MOOCs ‘Dead’ (Though the Company Still Offers Them), Jeffrey R. Young , EdSurge, Oct 14, 2017

Udacity's latest word on MOOCs, reported first by Economic Times in India: “Our mission is to bring relevant education which advances people in careers and socio-economic activities, and MOOCs aren't the way.” I don't think that's an accurate statement of Udacity's mission. I think that what drives the company is investor demands for profits. Really, I don't know why for-profit companies bother with a mission statement that says anything else, because we ... [Direct Link]

Why Is Live Interactive Video Streaming So Rare Among MOOCs and LMSs?, Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside News, Oct 14, 2017

I can answer that question from my own experience. It's really hard to put hundreds of people, let alone thousands, into a live interactive streaming conference. This article doesn't seem to recognize that difficulty. "It’s possible—in a course with scheduled lectures—for students to tune in, listen to a lecture in real time, ask questions, and participate in discussion from a remote location." Well yes, it's possible, but not in video. We've ... [Direct Link]

10 Current and Emerging Trends in Adult Learning, Tom Vander Ark, Education Next, Sept 22, 2017

We are given two sets of ten: first, ten trends in adult learning, which are dated and not worth the effort to read. And more interestingly, ten future trends. It cites the 2017 New Horizon higher education report, but doesn't repeat the predictions. Especially interesting is the prediction of the rise of national service universities citing a presentation from ASU president Michael Crow from last May. "Putting knowledge at the core, Crow described five realms of ... [Direct Link]

The Massively Open On Air Courses (MOOAC): Contextualizing MOOCs in Africa, Rebecca Yvonne Bayeck, e/merge Africa, YouTube, Sept 06, 2017

Education in Africa faces numerous challenges: infrastructure, affordances, teacher shortages and distance. MOOCs can be deployed to address these issues. But few African students actually attend MOOCs. Access to the internet is still very limited (about 9 percent) in Africa. So this presentation looks like an adaptation of MOOCs - open On Air Courses, delivering instruction over the radio. The presentation itself is about 20 minutes, with the remaining 35 minutes devoted to discussion. See ... [Direct Link]

Digital Learning Research Network, National Institute for Digital Learning, Aug 17, 2017

Helge Scherlund links today to the Digital Learning Research Network, part of Ireland's National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL). The Network "fosters a network of leaders and strong communities of practice at the forefront of research on new models of teaching and learning." Projects include Mahara analytics, MOOCs in open education, Lego innovation, and more. Keep up to date by following the NIDL blog (the most recent post is from two days ago, an encouraging ... [Direct Link]

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