MOOCs: the C***** word is the problem!

Donald Clark, Workplace Performance, Dec 08, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Good post from Donald Clark (who has really been hitting the mark recently) on the way the use of the word 'course' in MOOC misleads us. The problem with the traditional course, he sais, is that it does not meet the "the needs of the real audience – lifelong learners. The data is clear – MOOCs are for all. This is to be celebrated, not disparaged." Quite right. "Don’t get trapped into thinking that ‘course completion’ is the goal – it’s not. Don’t get trapped into thinking that ‘certification’ is the goal – it is not. Don’t get trapped into thinking this is about long, and often long-winded, HE courses – it is not." Again - agreed. So you may ask, why would we call a MOOC a course? Because it has a starting point, a stopping point, and is typically focused on a topic or series of ideas. Those are the only things that make a MOOC a course.

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