Clarifying My Feeling Toward MOOCs

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Jun 23, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Updating the discussion on MOOCs following the Chronicle article earlier this week: David Wiley reponds to say he is not totally opposed to MOOCs, thinks they're a good idea, but would not recommend them for everyone. "Research has shown time and again that the less well prepared a person is academically, the more supportive structure they need as they begin their intellectual foray into the area." Maybe. But as George Siemens responds, "the process of clarifying confusion and disorientation - sensemaking and wayfinding in complex settings - is the learning." From my perspective, it's hard to see how a person can remain a novice their entire lives. At some point they need to graduate from being incapable of managing their own learning to being capable of it, and the sooner the better. If there is an argument for delaying this, and subjecting them to 15 years - or a lifetime - of scaffolding, I haven't heard it.
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