Five Myths about MOOCs

James G. Mazoué, Foundations of Creativity, Oct 13, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Normally the organization of an article into a list and the use of 'myths' in the title would be sure signs to steer away from what looks like churnalism. But this article is a serious and well-reasoned defense of MOOCs against some of the common fallacious arguments against them. Critics would do well to give it a read.

"Those in the anti-MOOC camp who are opposed to this model should provide well-reasoned arguments based on educational research, not more rhetoric about the imagined dangers of MOOCs as agents of educational imperialism. Mischaracterizing MOOCs as pawns in the service of a neoliberal political agenda distorts the legitimacy of the challenge that MOOCs pose to conventional practices and misrepresents their potential as catalysts of pedagogical innovation. By deflecting attention away from a serious discussion of their own agenda's merits, those who frame MOOCs in terms of socioeconomic class warfare are not serving their own cause well. Neither smug self-confidence nor playing the victim card will stave off a research agenda that is hot on the trail of understanding the conditions that more effectively enable learning."

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