MOOCs and Teacher Appreciation

Education – especially Higher Ed is changing. I participated in the
“real” MOOCs since a couple of Canadians ran the first one in 2008?
Very different than the super-size rock-star commercialized, branded,
hyped bad LMS versions that pass for the “it” MOOCs now.

I’m taking one at Stanford with 20,000 new best friends. It is mostly
just an ordinary distance learning class that has less functionality
than Moodle – assignments, readings, short video, weekly 30-min
“online” session, limited forums. With 20,000 people participating,
some of the assignments are pretty great, but I expect that these are
maybe less than .1%.

Probably easier to set up and “teach” 20,000 than 25 students – just
load and go. Assignments have to be geared to just submit. LMS set up
to allow peer review after the due date. Nobody expects 1:1 feedback.
Some replies in the Help forum. Weekly emails about next assignment.
How hard is that?

On the other hand, in my group of 40, lots of interesting people from
all over the world. Some folks have amazing ideas and time to put into
assignments. So that part is very cool.

It’s a start. 20 years ago, I wrote about what today is called
Personal Learning Networks – Individualized, guided, dynamic, based on
learner interests, educational goals and preferences. Lots of the
pieces are in place and some additional technology was cobbled
together by the facilitators of the original MOOC (which wasn’t called
that until someone came up with the name part way through that first
course). Learning to learn this way will be a challenge for lots of
people, but it is pretty great if it works for you. I really enjoyed
being part of something important and interesting. :o)

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day

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