Critical Literacies and the Challenge of Online Learning
In recent years the massive open online course (MOOC) has become widely popular, but it has also demonstrated some of the key challenges facing online students. Challenges to MOOCs have included high dropout rates and the need for students to be self-sufficient online. In this talk the developer of the original MOOC, Stephen Downes, addresses this challenge by underling a set of competencies or skills recommended for both teachers and learners in virtual environments. These competencies, which he describes as ‘critical literacies’, support an approach to online learning based in an immersive online pedagogy in a personal learning environment supporting engagement with online courses, communities of practice, and workplace communities.