The MOOC Model for Digital Practice

Alexander McAuley, Bonnie Stewart, George Siemens, Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog, Dec 20, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The first of the major studies to come out of PLENK 2010 is online. "Building and sustaining prosperity through Canada's current digital strengths depends on a digital ecosystem that embraces both infrastructure and the collaborative social networks enabled by that infrastructure. Prosperity in this context requires a citizenry with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to turn these factors towards creating wealth. By exploring the relationship of MOOCs to the digital economy in general and their potential roles to prepare citizens for participation in that digital economy in particular, it illustrates one particularly Canadian model of how these needs may be addressed."

"The MOOC is open and invitational. No one who wishes to participate is excluded; people negotiate the extent and nature of their participation according to their individual needs and wishes, regardless of whether those needs are defined, for example, by personal interest or workplace requirements. From a theoretical perspective, this creates a very broad form of "legitimate peripheral participation" which allows individuals to be drawn into the community of practice at whatever rate is comfortable. From a pragmatic perspective, this framework provides access to large numbers of people who might otherwise be excluded for reasons ranging from time, to geographic location, to formal prerequisites, to financial hardship."
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