Last month our British colleagues published an interesting report on the pedagogy of MOOCs. Although it is focused on the UK, it is interesting for everyone who is involved with MOOCs.
This report addresses the question of pedagogy within the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): what kinds of MOOCs are currently offered in the UK; what it means to ‘teach’ in the open and at massive scale; and what kinds of demands and expectations are experienced by academics who teach MOOCs.
We address these issues specifically as they relate to the UK context. As the activities of the early UK MOOC innovators extend and start to become mainstream (via new iterations of existing MOOCs; the launch of the UK MOOC platform FutureLearn, privately owned by the Open University and involving 29 mainly UK-based institutions as partners; the expansion of existing platform partnerships; and the emergence of new platform options), there is value in offering a portrait of ‘where we are now’ at this turning point for MOOC engagement within UK higher education.
The rport has four sections:
- An overview of the UK MOOC landscape
- A review of key published and grey literatures on MOOC pedagogy
- UK MOOC snapshots
There main three conclusions are:
- MOOCs are multiple: UK MOOCs have multiple pedagogic forms and intentions,and we can no longer define them as a single ‘transformative’ entity. Broad-brushdescriptions of MOOC pedagogy in terms of a cMOOC/xMOOC binary are no longer representative or particularly useful. A more nuanced approach toinstitutional thinking around MOOCs is now needed: one which takes account of an analysis of MOOC pedagogy at a micro level of individual course design.
- MOOC pedagogy is not embedded in MOOC platforms, but is negotiated and emergent. Multiple social and material influences converge when MOOC pedagogy is enacted: teacher preferences and beliefs, disciplinary influences, patterns of learner expectation and engagement, and other contextual factors such as institutional teaching culture or the desire to generate analytics. We need to give greater attention to MOOC pedagogy as a socio-material and discipline-informed issue.
- ‘The teacher’ persists in the MOOC. Though MOOC teaching functions are often disaggregated and delegated to automated processes and community-based social learning, the place and visibility of the teacher remain of central importance. MOOC teaching is high visibility, high risk and dependent on significant intellectual, emotional and time commitment from academics and the professionals who work alongside them.
Some remarks about the report that I noticed:
- Although the number of UK universities is large (24), there are only a couple of universities that offer more than one or two. (see page 13)
- I agree that we should move away from the cMOOC/xMOOC simplification. We should move towards more nuanced and microlevel discussion of exactly what is going on in different kinds of MOOCs.
- The role of the teacher in a MOOC is much more than appearing in the video. There hasn't been much research on the effects of the activities of the teacher in a MOOC.
- I agree with the notion that people might sign up for a course not intending to complete the assessments is one that is unfamiliar to fee-charging institutions, but it is extremely
common in free courses where the barrier to entry is usually as low as clicking a registration button and entering an email address. In such a context, new measures of success and quality are required, because participant behaviours and intentions are so diverse.
- Although the report addresses the openness of Coursera, it doesn't mention the same limiting conditions of the UK platform FutureLearn. (the report itself is also copyright protected)
No feedback yet
Form is loading...