MOOCs: a Model for Open Education?

Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, May 23, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I do think that George and Dave and I (along with the help and support of thousands) have found something important in MOOCs. The MOOC is a way of leveargibg the best of the network to directly address the short-comings of the mass-market self-study programs that characterized early distance education. Graham Attwell points to three major lessons that have been learned over the last three years of MOOCs:
- "the model of courses which are free to participants but charge for institutional enrollment and for certification appears to be gaining traction."
- "most of these programmes are using all manner of social software and Open Source applications."
- "such initiatives place great emphasis on peer support for learning, with a greater or lesser extent of formal learning support and formalization of networks."
Attwell notices, and I notice as well, that the demographics of people taking MOOC tend to be older, more experienced, and more self-sufficient.
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