Challenging MOOCs

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Jun 25, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Audrey Watters completes a MOOC on superheroes in popular culture and reflects on it. "My fear: the treatment of Wonder Woman in “The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture” is symbolic of how all topics will be treated by popular MOOCs. We’ll get tittering, but no theory." I'm less concerned about the lack of theory (criticism as a discipline is overly fond of Theory) but share Watters's concerns about lack of depth. Additionally, the difficulty of managing a centralized discussion forum for a MOOC is something we encountered and addressed in our MOOCs (addressed by encouraging people to set up their own fora in their own locations around the web; our favourite troll could dominate the one central discussion, but was utterly defeated by the distributed discussion - a lesson the centralized MOOCs still haven't learned).

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