How NOT to Design a MOOC: The Disaster at Coursera and How to Fix it

Debbie Morrison, Online Educa Berlin, Feb 04, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As I've told people in the past, what makes a MOOC a MOOC is that it i set up to use distributed resources, not centralized resources. It was inevitable that Coursera would learn this lesson the hard way. As one commenter said, "Wowzers, 40,000 students signed up for considering google spreadsheets limit of 50 simultaneous editors ... not a good choice!" and "Egads, this group thing in is a giant clusterf*." Debbie Morrison analyzes the causes of the failure: a problem with the Google spreadsheet used to join groups. She also notes, "Instructions for the group work in this  course are vague. It is not clear what the groups are for, or why one needs to join a group." The course? Coursera, Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application.See also: Steve Krause.

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