Innovative MOOCs Take Learning in New Directions

Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, Mar 15, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This article looks at a couple of specialized MOOC initiatives, one from the University of Michigan based on Coursera's expansion into China, and the other a non-MOOC MOOC initiative from Harvard on 'Small Private Online Courses' (SPOCs) directed toward alumni. The Michigan project is interesting, as the Chinese MOOC will yield a lot of new analytics data and will also enable instructors to hone their practice in a diverse environment. The SPOC work tells us some things we already knew: first, that email still works well as an engagement tool, and second, that online courses work well when they target already-established clubs or interest groups.

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